An Appalachian Feud Blows Up in 1912
Step into True Colors -- a new series of Historical Stories of Romance and American Crime
In Carroll County, a corn shucking is the social event of the season, until a mischievous kiss leads to one of the biggest tragedies in Virginia history. Ava Burcham isn’t your typical Blue Ridge Mountain girl. She has a bad habit of courtin’ trouble, and her curiosity has opened a rift in the middle of a feud between politicians and would-be outlaws, the Allen family. Ava’s tenacious desire to find a story worth reporting may land her and her best friend, Jeremiah Sutphin, into more trouble than either of them planned. The end result? The Hillsville Courthouse Massacre of 1912.
Basham (My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge) interweaves romance, adventure, and history in this enjoyable tale set against the backdrop of the Hillsville, Va., Courthouse Massacre of 1912. Nineteen year-old Ava Burcham dreams of writing about important things, but is only allowed to write about sewing for the local newspaper. Nevertheless, she spends her time snooping around Hillsville investigating the rampant illegal moonshining that led to the death of her father. Jeremiah Sutphin has been Ava's best friend since childhood and dreams of marrying her. While Ava begins to see Jeremiah in a new light as he helps her investigations, she was raised by a mentally ill mother and worries she might also possess her same afflictions. Devout Jeremiah assures Ava that someday she'll see herself as God and Jeremiah see her and that he'll be waiting. But tensions rise when the two help friends caught in the middle of a moonshining feud leave town, making them a mark for the outlaws. The stakes are high as the story moves toward the climactic shoot-out heavily foreshadowed throughout the narrative. Though the plotting is predictable, this is an exciting mix of love and adventure. Readers of Colleen Coble should take a look.
This is a marvelous fictional story of a true crime.
I made one slight mistake at the very beginning. I read the cast of characters given before the story begins. I then found myself trying to remember each one. As soon as I realized that and let go of those details I was sucked into the story very quickly.
I absolutely loved both Ava and Jeremiah. They are incredibly well developed and their history, individually and as friends, is slowly revealed. My heart broke for Ava and all the heartache she suffered as a girl. I was so glad she had Jeremiah, and others, as friends through all of it.
All of the anger and violence that flows through the plot put me in mind of the old Hatfield-McCoy feud. It was entertaining to read but I definitely wouldn’t want to be around it.
I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher, through NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. All of the opinions expressed are my own.
Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention or review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I have done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*
A Must Read!!!
Wow, wow, WOW! What an amazing book! Pepper Basham is one of my all time favorite authors and The Red Ribbon is a storytelling masterpiece!
I loved learning about a true crime that I had never heard of before, and Pepper wrote this story in a beautiful way that honors the people on both sides of this tragedy, and fills the reader with empathy for all involved and their families.
Yes, this is a true crime story, but this book also contains a beautiful reminder that there is hope in this world all because of the One in whom our hope is found! I also loved the message regarding identity, and that who we truly are is all in Whose we are, I don't know about you but I personally need to be reminded often who I am in Christ! This book blessed my heart in so many ways and I know it will do the same for you!
And of course it wouldn't be a Pepper Basham book without a breathtaking romance (not to mention numerous toe-curling kisses!) and man is it a good one! I absolutely adored Ava and Jeremiah's romance, it gave me all the feels and had me swooning from beginning to end!
I also have to say that I love Granny Burcham so much, she's the absolute best and she made me smile every time she appeared on the page!
The suspense in this book is fantastic and so well written, it kept me on the edge of my seat and I hated to stop reading, and the fact that Pepper created a fictional mystery alongside the true crime was absolutely genius and so brilliantly done! If you are a fan of Roseanna M. White you'll love Pepper Basham's brand of suspense!
I absolutely and completely loved every single moment of The Red Ribbon, and it's one of my top ten favorite reads of 2020!
I most highly recommend The Red Ribbon! Trust me this is one book you don't want to miss!
I received a copy of this book from the publisher. Which did not influence my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions are one hundred percent my own!
The girl with the ribbons
If you’re going to change the world around you, make sure you’re not the one changing to fit - Jeremiah
Don’t expect to put this one aside until you find out who or what is behind all the danger and killing that leads up to the Courthouse Massacre of 1912. The Appalachian hills hold a certain amount of mystery to all those who have not lived or visited there. It seems hard to believe that there would be such enmity between two families or clans that the feud would last for generations. Such was the situation in Caroll County, Virginia. The Thomas and Allen clans had been at odds for years and it finally came to a head in that courthouse. Could a simple kiss set the scene for murder??
Ava Burcham had seen her share of sorrow, losing her father and brother in violent deaths. Her job at the Temples Alteration Shop Allowed her to make a living with something she enjoyed - especially the beautiful ribbons. Never would she have guessed how important those red ribbons would become.
I thoroughly enjoyed the slow romance that the author entwined into this story of illegal stills, danger and death. It showed the resiliency of the human spirit, especially when one puts their trust in God, knowing He will be there all the time - regardless of what you are going through.
This ARC was received through Barbour Publishing and NetGalley. All comments and impressions are my own and were in no way solicited.