FALLEN LAND

Taylor Brown

An Indie Next pick, an Okra 2016 Winter Selection, and a SIBA Bestseller!

Fallen Land is Taylor Brown’s debut novel set in the final year of the Civil War, as a young couple on horseback flees a dangerous band of marauders who seek a bounty reward. Callum, a seasoned horse thief at fifteen years old, came to America from his native Ireland as an orphan. Ava, her father and brother lost to the war, hides in her crumbling home until Callum determines to rescue her from the bands of hungry soldiers pillaging the land,

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An Indie Next pick, an Okra 2016 Winter Selection, and a SIBA Bestseller!

Fallen Land is Taylor Brown’s debut novel set in the final year of the Civil War, as a young couple on horseback flees a dangerous band of marauders who seek a bounty reward. Callum, a seasoned horse thief at fifteen years old, came to America from his native Ireland as an orphan. Ava, her father and brother lost to the war, hides in her crumbling home until Callum determines to rescue her from the bands of hungry soldiers pillaging the land, leaving destruction in their wake. Ava and Callum have only each other in the world and their remarkable horse, Reiver, who carries them through the destruction that is the South. Pursued relentlessly by a murderous slave hunter, tracking dogs, and ruthless ex-partisan rangers, the couple race through a beautiful but ruined land, surviving on food they glean from abandoned farms and the occasional kindness of strangers. In the end, as they intersect with the scorching destruction of Sherman’s March, the couple seek a safe haven where they can make a home and begin to rebuild their lives. Dramatic and thrillingly written with an uncanny eye for glimpses of beauty in a ravaged landscape, Fallen Land is a love story at its core, and an unusually assured first novel by award-winning young author Taylor Brown.

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  • St. Martin's Griffin
  • Paperback
  • January 2017
  • 303 Pages
  • 9781250116840

Buy the Book

$15.99

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About Taylor Brown

Taylor Brown’s fiction has appeared in more than twenty publications, including The Baltimore Review, The North Carolina Literary Review, and storySouth; and he is the recipient of the Montana Prize in Fiction, and was a finalist in both the Machigonne Fiction Contest and the Doris Betts Fiction Prize. He lives in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Praise

“Like McCarthy’s Border Trilogy or Frazier’s Cold Mountain, this is American literature at its best, full of art and beauty and the exploration of all that is good and bad in the human spirit.”Kirkus, starred review

“This is a masterpiece that deserves a full serving of accolades.”Booklist, starred review

“Brown’s expressive language captures the harsh realities of the South at the time. A nail-biting journey from first page to last.”Library Journal, starred review

Discussion Questions

1. What did you know about Sherman’s March to the Sea before this novel? How, if at all, did Fallen Land inform you about, or change your impression of, this chapter in history?

2. The main character, Callum, commits a string of violent acts throughout the novel. Do you find his actions justifiable? Are there any moments when you wish he’d acted differently?

3. The horse, Reiver, winds up becoming one of the main characters in the novel. He certainly has an interesting name. Why might the author have chosen to name him so?

4. The treatment of animals arises again and again in the novel. Do you find this distracting, or do you think the plight of animals is something we too often miss in stories of war?

5. We are taught, as young readers, that every story has a “moral.” Is there a moral to this novel? What can we learn about our world—and ourselves—from Callum and Ava’s story?