Saturday, April 9, 2011

Review of Beyond the Shickshock Mountains by Malcom Mills

Genre: Historical fiction
Title: Beyond the Shickshock Mountains: A Canadian Talon Saga
Author: Malcolm Mills

It’s the late eighteenth century and the British and French fight over the eastern part of Canada. The Talon family tree has deep roots in this time period and beyond. Men and women alike have to decide whether to stay and accept their lives under another’s rule, or leave and find a safer and not so volatile place to settle. It’s hard to find a safety net when everyone is struggling to survive.

Beyond the Shickshock Mountains follows the lives of three young men: Jean George, Shannagan, and Trevallion. At 20, Jean George finally had enough of the local fishing merchant short-changing his family and others in the community. At the annual tally, he stood up and demanded to see the books. His satisfaction at proving the merchant was bilking the town was short lived as he became a pawn in a game he couldn’t hope to win. Young, orphaned Shannagan runs to the mountains to avoid British capture and to share news with others who live in hiding. Twenty-five-year-old Trevallion has already sailed to Europe and back. He has a few pieces of personal business to attend to before settling down with a wife, but life keeps throwing him curves.

The author chose to write the first and last sections in first person, seemingly so the reader can be more involved in the stories of Jean George and Trevallion. The short middle section is narrative and tells about 12-year-old Shannagan Thomas Murphy’s struggle to survive as a ‘free’ man. The descriptive writing and engaging dialogue keep the reader engaged in the lives of these three unique individuals in a time long past.

In addition to Beyond the Shickshock Mountains, Malcolm Mills is the author of High Hopes & High Tides, a historical fiction novel, and It’s a Tough World Out There, a satirical look at business in the fast lane. Malcolm has frequently traveled across North America and has lived in Europe and China gathering data for his writing. Malcolm lives in Nova Scotia with his wife where he continues to write of adventures in Canadian history.

Beyond the Shickshock Mountains is full of adventure and history. It’s a story of self-preservation and survival in unexpected conditions. This novel can entertain young and old alike. It is a good read. This review is based on a pre-published copy of the manuscript. Reviewer: Lisa Haselton, Allbooks Reviews,

Publisher: Asteroid Publishing, Inc.
ISBN: 978-1-926720-09-8
Pages: 270
Price: $17.95

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