Wednesday, 30 September 2009


After blogging about Charley (or Charlie) Parkhurst we came across this novelisation of the famed stagecoach driver's life.
Fern J. Hill takes the reader right into the story and her style is so engaging that when I opened the book I was hooked. So, this is one book that did not make it on to my 'too be read' pile.
The facts of Charlotte Parkhurst's life is, as explained in my previous blog, very scant but Fern J. Hill by telling the story in the first person makes for a believeable person.
The reader is taken through Charley's childhood in an orphanage and her subsequent escape to Massachusetts where she is employed by Ebenezer Birch. That Charley is female are discovered by Ebenezer's wife, Tilly, and later by another driver with whom she has an affair that results in the birth of her daughter in Georgia. When young Mattie dies, Charley drowns her sorrow in drink but Charley returns to the trade of her choice. Despite her drink problem she is sober when she drives. In 1851 she heads for California and this is where Charley Parkhurst's reputation is made.
What makes this novel stand out is the way that Fern J. Hill has combined fact and fiction in a way that the reader is left with the impression that there is no dividing line.
Fern J. Hill has her own website that is full of facts about the life of Charley Parkhurst.
There is, also, a You Tube trailer.
This book is available through both and or via The Book Depository.
Certainly recommended read.

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