Fallen Land by Taylor Brown, St. Martin’s Press – coming out January 12th, 2016 – Review by Larry Yoder
No matter what I say in this review, it will be inadequate to describe this title. If you thought Cold Mountain was a good book on the last years of the Civil War and its effect on civilians, I think Fallen Land is even better. This historical fiction describes the desperation of the last days of the Civil War for non-combatants.
When the Southern lands fell, many of the lawless gangs that later went West arose. These bands had their own codes, and when those codes were violated, the offender was hunted like a rabid dog. In Fallen Land, a young gang member breaks with a band of confederate cast offs and deserters to take a higher path with a wronged young woman. Their pursuit by the gang includes the destruction of the last resistance of the South. Fallen Land is about ordinary people trying to make it through, when every decision is probably bad. It is about the power of love to transform and motivate attempts to create a better life. It is about self-discovery and starting over.
This is one of those books I will not forget.