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Between the Rivers

Between the Rivers

Between the Rivers
Carolyn Rawls Booth
430 pages; illustrations

August 2001

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"The fertile landscape is a living part of this story and the historical details are rendered with remarkable credibility." Georgann Eubanks, Carboro, North Carolina

"... a strong plot propels Between the Rivers upstream. Although the novel is not explicitly religious, I suspect that readers who liked Katherine Marshall's Christy will find it appealing." Ben Steelman, THE WILMINGTON STAR

"Far from being a 'bodice-ripper' or a dry history text, Booth tells a solid tale of a young woman's hopes and dreams, lost loves and changing times." Jefferson Weaver, THE BLADEN JOURNAL

Between the Rivers is historical fiction, set in coastal North Carolina between the Cape Fear, the Black and the Northeast Cape Fear Rivers in the early twentieth century. It is a place where the hardships of rural life challenge daily existence, where women like Maggie Lorena Ryan struggle to find a more satisfying life than that of bearing multiple children to work the land.

The story opens in 1926 on the scene of a house fire in Bladen County. Tate and Maggie Lorena Ryan watch helplessly with their two sons as everything they own goes up in smoke~everything except Maggie's trunk. A story of madness and melancholy develops as we travel through flashback to an earlier time when Maggie goes off to the new Baptist college (Meredith) in Raleigh. Characters and campus scenes based on the early history of the school, as well as manners and attitudes of the era portray a realistic picture of life in Raleigh at the turn of the last century.

Maggie's dream of college is put on hold following a tragic event. She goes to Onslow County to teach school in a one-room schoolhouse. Scenes in Onslow and Bladen counties depict the hardships of day to day living in rural life, the lack of medical treatment and the slow progress of the States consolidation of the public school system.



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