Synopses & Reviews
The Revolutionary War is raging. General Wayne's soldiers are freezing, underpaid, and resentful. Whispers of mutiny abound.
A stone's throw from the restless camp, Tempe Wick wages her own battle for survival. Despite her efforts, she fears she won't be able to feed her family, care for her ailing mother, or maintain her farm for long.
As the whispers get louder, the soldiers get bolder. Mutiny is imminent. And Tempe faces a gut-wrenching decision: Should she join the revolt?
Ann Rinaldi's dramatic story is based on the legend of America's Tempe Wick.
Reader's guide included.
"A suspenseful read . . . realistic and . . . exciting."--Booklist
Historical fiction full of intrigue, adventure, and heartbreak.
The Revolutionary War is raging. Food and firewood are scarce, and Tempe Wick is worried that she will not be able to care for her ailing mother and her family and still maintain the farm. Her ability to hold on to her world is threatened when a mutinous soldier demands that she lend him her beloved horse in exchange for keeping her brothers rum-smuggling activities secret from the authorities. This dramatic historical novel is based on a real event that has been popularized into American legend.
About the Author
Ann Rinaldi is an award-winning author best known for bringing history vividly to life. Among her books for Harcourt are The Coffin Quilt: The Feud between the Hatfields and the McCoys, an ABA's Pick of the Lists, and The Staircase, a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age.
A self-made writer, Ms. Rinaldi never attended college but learned her craft through reading and writing. As a columnist for twenty-one years at The Tretonian in New Jersey, she learned the art of finding a good story, capturing it in words, and meeting a deadline.
Ms. Rinaldi attributes her interest in history to her son, who enlisted her to take part in historical reenactments up and down the East Coast, where she cooked the food, made the clothing, and learned about the dances, songs, and lifestyles that prevailed in eighteenth-century America.
Ann Rinaldi has two grown children and lives with her husband in central New Jersey.
Reading Group Guide
Q> Civil wars divide families. How has it divided the families in this story? Q> Abraham tells Mary that compromise is a necessary commodity, but not all the characters agree. How do Mary, Tempe, and General Wayne feel about compromise? How do you feel about it? When should you compromise, and when should you stand firm? Q> What does Mary mean when she says that everyone is part and parcel of the whole of their life experiences? In what ways have your life experiences determined who you are now? Q> Mary tells Henry, "Sometimes it helps to air old ills in the sunlight." What does she mean? Q> Tempe believes that a person's motives do not matter as much as their actions. Do you think one is more important than the other? Why? Q> In what ways might Henry's living as a lunatic make his life easier? Harder? Q> Abraham advises Mary that "those closest to the problem cannot see the solution." Do you think this is true? Who can you turn to when you have a problem? Q> In his letter to Mary, Abraham says, "I choose to look at the past fondly and to the future with hope." Why might he choose to see things this way? How should he handle his unhappy memories?
Copyright (c) 2003. Published in the U.S. by Harcourt, Inc.