- About the Book
Harper Lee says, "John Ehle's meld of historical fact with ineluctable plot-weaving makes 'The Land Breakers' an exciting example of masterful storytelling. He is our foremost writer of historical fiction." Robert Morgan, author of Oprah pick 'Gap Creek,' says 'The Land Breakers' is a "complex, compelling story of settlement and discovery, it introduced readers to the Blue Ridge past, to explorers, families, the land. The land that is broken is itself a major, unforgettable character in this vivid, memorable story." Set in 1779, 'The Land Breakers' follows young Mooney and Imy Wright deep into the Appalachian wilderness where they become the first white pioneers to settle deep in the mountains of Western North Carolina. "What ensues during these six years is an often violent struggle: first merely to survive and then to create a viable settlement, some human community that might last. For in this stark mountain fastness, each of the important characters-male and female alike-is seeking two things: family and community." (from the Afterword, by Terry Roberts) First published in 1964 by Harper & Row, 'The Land Breakers' returns to print as a Press 53 Classic. As Hal Borland wrote, in his 1964 New York Times review, "In a time of dreamless heroes, of long-winded whimpers that pass as novels, The Land Breakers has a rare degree of greatness."