By Maria Hummel
(St. Martin's Press, Hardcover, 9780312287573, 352pp.)
Publication Date: September 2002
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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Winter 1859: While exploring the frozen expanse of Lake Champlain, Isabel "Bel" Lindsey and her cousin Laurence hear a hoarse voice call out to them, the voice of a runaway slave.
The teenage children of wealthy Vermont lumber barons, Bel and Laurence decide to hide and aid the runaway. The choice catapults them from their sheltered upbringing into the central issue of their time: slavery and the future of the Union. Wilderness Run recounts their coming of age as it follows America's own loss of innocence after entering the Civil War.
Two years pass and Laurence is a soldier fighting in some of the war's bloodiest battles, while Bel, in the confines of her father's mansion, begins to fall for her French-Canadian tutor, Louis Pacquette-only to see him enlist for the Union. As Laurence and Louis become friends and serve in the same brigade, Bel starts to unravel a painful family secret. The history of family and nation come together when Bel goes to serve as a nurse in Washington, D.C., and after the terrible fires of the Battle of the Wilderness, reunites with the two men who love her.
Featuring vivid characters and visceral war scenes balanced by intimate portraits of domestic life, Wilderness Run is a powerful debut by a gifted young writer.
Maria Hummel is an award-winning poet who has written for The Georgia Review, Green Mountains Review, and other publications. She received her M.F.A. from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she studied under a Randall Jarrell Fellowship. She is a native of Vermont and lives with her husband in Los Angeles, California.
"A gifted poet has immersed herself in the history of her home territory to write a mesmerizing first novel." --David Huddle, author of The Story of a Million Years
"A gifted poet has immersed herself in the history of her home territory to write a mesmerizing first novel."
-David Huddle, author of The Story of a Million Years