The Cove by Ron Rash
For Laurel Shelton, life has been as dark and gloomy as the cove where her family's farm in North Carolina lies. Taunted and tormented by locals who believe she is cursed or a witch, surviving the deaths of her parents and her brother's wounding in World War I, Laurel has grown up strong but lonely. She sees her life as unchangeable and dark, until one day she follows the mysterious beautiful notes of a flute deeper into the woods and discovers a man, wounded and weak. Bringing him home and caring for him despite her brother's reservations, Laurel begins to walk a path to a happier life with Walter, mute though he may be, by her side.
But in a time of prejudice, superstition and war, when vigilantism and a hunger for pride and glory run rampant will their happiness last? Or will the life Walter ran from catch up to them?
A beautiful historical fiction piece, with extremely well developed characters. It is a story of small town prejudice, war time propaganda, family and love. The atmosphere is meticulously executed; I easily put myself into Laurel's shoes and lost myself in the gloaming of the Cove.
I'd recommend this novel to fans of historical fiction centered around World War I, North Carolina or those stories heavy on historical detail as well as those who enjoy a story with a fairly dark, moody feel. I read this story (all 255 pages) on a misty, foggy afternoon and it really put me into the story.