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Walking to Gatlinburg

A Novel

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Hardcover published by Crown (Crown Publishing Group)

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A stunning and lyrical Civil War thriller, Walking to Gatlinburg is a spellbinding story of survival, wilderness adventure, mystery, and love in the time of war.

Morgan Kinneson is both hunter and hunted.  The sharp-shooting 17-year-old from Kingdom County, Vermont, is determined to track down his brother Pilgrim, a doctor who has gone missing from the Union Army.  But first Morgan must elude a group of murderous escaped convicts in pursuit of a mysterious stone that has fallen into his possession.

It’s 1864, and the country is in the grip of the bloodiest war in American history.  Meanwhile, the Kinneson family has been quietly conducting passengers on the Underground Railroad from Vermont to the Canadian border.  One snowy afternoon Morgan leaves an elderly fugitive named Jesse Moses in a mountainside cabin for a few hours so that he can track a moose to feed his family.  In his absence, Jesse is murdered, and thus begins Morgan’s unforgettable trek south through an apocalyptic landscape of war and mayhem.

Along the way, Morgan encounters a fantastical array of characters, including a weeping elephant, a pacifist gunsmith, a woman who lives in a tree, a blind cobbler, and a beautiful and intriguing slave girl named Slidell who is the key to unlocking the mystery of the secret stone.  At the same time, he wrestles with the choices that will ultimately define him – how to reconcile the laws of nature with religious faith, how to temper justice with mercy.  Magical and wonderfully strange, Walking to Gatlinburg is both a thriller of the highest order and a heartbreaking odyssey into the heart of American darkness.


From the Hardcover edition.
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A stunning and lyrical Civil War thriller, Walking to Gatlinburg is a spellbinding story of survival, wilderness adventure, mystery, and love in the time of war.

Morgan Kinneson is both hunter and hunted.  The sharp-shooting 17-year-old from Kingdom County, Vermont, is determined to track down his brother Pilgrim, a doctor who has gone missing from the Union Army.  But first Morgan must elude a group of murderous escaped convicts in pursuit of a mysterious stone that has fallen into his possession.

It’s 1864, and the country is in the grip of the bloodiest war in American history.  Meanwhile, the Kinneson family has been quietly conducting passengers on the Underground Railroad from Vermont to the Canadian border.  One snowy afternoon Morgan leaves an elderly fugitive named Jesse Moses in a mountainside cabin for a few hours so that he can track a moose to feed his family.  In his absence, Jesse is murdered, and thus begins Morgan’s unforgettable trek south through an apocalyptic landscape of war and mayhem.

Along the way, Morgan encounters a fantastical array of characters, including a weeping elephant, a pacifist gunsmith, a woman who lives in a tree, a blind cobbler, and a beautiful and intriguing slave girl named Slidell who is the key to unlocking the mystery of the secret stone.  At the same time, he wrestles with the choices that will ultimately define him – how to reconcile the laws of nature with religious faith, how to temper justice with mercy.  Magical and wonderfully strange, Walking to Gatlinburg is both a thriller of the highest order and a heartbreaking odyssey into the heart of American darkness.


From the Hardcover edition.
Product Details
Hardcover (352 pages)
Published: March 2, 2010
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Imprint: Crown
ISBN: 9780307450678
Other books byHoward Frank Mosher
  • Disappearances

    Disappearances
    Winner of the New England Book Award, Howard Frank Mosher’s endearing first novel is both a heroic adventure and a thrilling coming-of-age story. It is the memorable tale of a young man named Wild Bill Bonhomme, his larger-than-life father, Quebec Bill, and their whiskey-smuggling exploits along the Vermont-Canada border in 1932. On an epic journey through the wilderness, Bill and his father encounter a cast of wild characters—and live out magical escapades as they carve their way into legend.

    The Great Northern Express

    The Great Northern Express
    A Writer's Journey Home
    From bestselling, nationally celebrated author Howard Frank Mosher, a wildly funny and deeply personal account of his three-month, 20,000-mile sojourn to discover what he loved enough to live for.   Several months before novelist Howard Frank Mosher turned sixty-five, he learned that he had prostate cancer. Following forty-six intensive radiation treatments, Mosher set out alone in his twenty-year-old Chevy Celebrity on a monumental road trip and book tour across twenty-first-century America. From a chance meeting with an angry moose in northern New England to late-night walks on the wildest sides of America's largest cities, The Great Northern Express chronicles Mosher's escapades with an astonishing array of erudite bibliophiles, homeless hitchhikers, country crooners and strippers, and aspiring writers of all circumstances.      Full of high and low comedy and rollicking adventures, this is part travel memoir, part autobiography, and pure, anarchic fun. From coast to coast and border to border, this unforgettable adventure of a top-notch American writer demonstrates that, sometimes, in order to know who we truly are, we must turn the wheel towards home.

    The Fall of the Year

    The Fall of the Year
    Set in the beautiful mountains of Kingdom County, THE FALL OF THE YEAR is Howard Frank Mosher's brilliant autobiographical novel about love in all its forms, from friendship to the most passionate romance, in a place where family, community, vocation, and the natural world still matter profoundly. Here are the lively stories of the eccentric inhabitants of Kingdom County, including Louvia the Fortuneteller; Foster Boy Dufresne, the local bottle picker; and the daredevil tomboy Molly Murphy, who risks her life to fulfill her dream of running away with the Greatest Little Show on Earth. Mosher's kingdom is "timeless. It existed well before man, has survived his spell upon it, and will do so long after the curtain has fallen" (Washington Post Book World).

    Where the Rivers Flow North

    Where the Rivers Flow North

Favorite QuotesFROM THIS BOOK
  • Year later Morgan Kinneson would conclude that it was probably reading that had gottne him and his brother, Pilgrim, into trouble in the first place.

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  • Then he walked into the trees, heading north.

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