Review: THE COFFIN QUILT by Ann Rinaldi

Some participants do not have blogs of their own, but we like to give them an opportunity to express their opinions about the books they read for the reading challenges.

Reva read The Coffin Quilt: The Feud Between the Hatfields and the McCoys by Ann Rinaldi for the U.S. Civil War Reading Challenge 2011.  Here is her review:

Set in 1880, Coffin Quilt is not about the Civil War but, rather, about how the war affected life in West Virginia and Kentucky for generations. When the “War Amongst Us” began, both the Hatfields of eastern Kentucky and the McCoys, just across the river in western Virginia, joined the Confederacy to fight for their much-prized independence. Unfortunately, the state of Virginia soon split to form West Virginia. West Virginia went for the Union and the McCoys probably felt tricked, embarrassed and confused. When the newly-switched Union McCoys were given Christmas furlougs, their still-Confederate neighbor Hatfields shot a McCoy, thus firing the first volley in a feud that would last for generations and cost the lives of many mountaineers.

Ann Rinaldi wrote this amazing account through extensive research and thoughtful extrapolation into the motives, culture and environment of the people. Families were large with many children; it was inevitable that sooner or later there would be romance between the feuding families. Small grievances added fodder to the flames of hatred and discontent in a community where men hunted coons for supper and made moonshine to sell in town for ammunition. Written in hillbilly-speak, I wished for more as I finished the book in one 4-hour sitting. You’re a danged fool if you don’t read this one.

**Attention participants: Remember to email us a link to your reviews, and we’ll post them here so we can see what everyone is reading!**


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