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Book Club: The French Broad
August 9, 2019 @ 11:30 am - 12:30 pmFree
August’s read is The French Broad by Wilma Dykeman. From Kirkus Reviews, “An interesting and proud contribution to the Rivers of America, this is an account of a major waterway, circulating from North Carolina into Tennessee, its divergences, tributaries and confluence with the Tennessee River, and above all an account of the people who for some 300 years have lived, thrived and been nourished into their present hardihood and uniqueness by the French Broad. From the days of the Cherokee mandate through frontiersmen like Sevier and Jacob Brown; the Civil War leaders, including the thief, “”Petticoat Jim””, so known because his wife, while in church, lifted an ankle and revealed to a sharp-eyed weaver, the cloth stolen by Jim; the Vanderbilts and their 100,000 acre estate; Tom Wolfe and his creations; the engineers of the TVA, who constructed Douglas Dam as a “”mammoth harness”” for the French Broad; the bootleggers, handicrafters, gem prospectors, Industrialists and religious fanatics who round out the social pattern. Miss Dykeman highspots details of the lodgings of the early settlers, the customs and philosophies that have developed, the idiom- still in use, and she captures legend, law and medicine, and the endless store of gossip. An informal but vivid sociological commentary beyond its value as Americana, and the narrative has the sweep and graciousness characteristic of many of this fine series.”