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3.48 of 5 stars 3.48  ·  rating details  ·  23 ratings  ·  4 reviews
"Quite a literary accomplishment...The reader watches with increasing fascination as the Union and Confederate ghosts of a small but deadly skirmish come alive again between the rows of the author's golden harvest."
Peter Svenson, a successful artist, dreamed as many people do, of owning a farm where he could live and work in bucolic splendor. But the for...more
Published February 8th 1994 by Ballantine Books (first published November 13th 1992)
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What saves this from turning into another yuppie/farmer tale is the fact that he comes to realize he's plowing up the dead. What keeps it from turning into Poltergeist is he can actually write. An amazing illustration of Faulkner's observation that "the past isn't even past."
The chapters in this book alternate between descriptions of Peter Svenson's experiences in owning and farming a Civil War battleground, and descriptions of the battle fought there during the Civil War, the Battle of Cross Keys. This book is very well written. Svenson is able to capture the chaos of the battle and how the quirks and foibles of the military leaders on both sides affected the outcome. The descriptions of his efforts to build a house and farm on the land are fascinating.
The author bought a farm in the Shenandoah Valley and in restoring it discovered that a Civil War battle had been fought there...the Battle of Cross Keys. This is the story of that battle as well as the restoration. Interesting intersection of history with modern life.
Very good history of the battle of Cross Keys and a very interesting look at living in the Shenandoah Valley in the mid 1990s
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Peter Svenson was born in 1944. He has a B.A. from Tufts University and an M.F.A. in painting from the University of North Carolina. He lives Cross Keys, Virginia.
More about Peter Svenson...
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