On Sale: May 12, 2020
Trade Size / e-Book (reprint)
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A cinematic Reconstruction-era drama of violence and fraught moral reckoning
In Dawsons Fall, a novel based on the lives of Roxana Robinsons great-grandparents, we see America at its most fragile, fraught, and malleable. Set in 1889, in Charleston, South Carolina, Robinsons tale weaves her familys journal entries and letters with a novelists narrative grace, and spans the life of her tragic hero, Frank Dawson, as he attempts to navigate the countrys new political, social, and moral landscape.
Dawson, a man of fierce opinions, came to this country as a young Englishman to fight for the Confederacy in a war he understood as a conflict over states rights. He later became the editor of the Charleston News and Courier, finding a platform of real influence in the editorial column and emerging as a voice of the New South. With his wife and two children, he tried to lead a life that adhered to his staunch principles: equal rights, rule of law, and nonviolence, unswayed by the caprices of popular opinion. But he couldnt control the political whims of his readers. As he wrangled diligently in his columns with questions of citizenship, equality, justice, and slavery, his newspaper rapidly lost readership, and he was plagued by financial worries. Nor could Dawson control the whims of the heart: his Swiss governess became embroiled in a tense affair with a drunkard doctor, which threatened to stain his familys reputation. In the end, Dawsona man in many ways representative of the country at this timewas felled by the very violence he vehemently opposed.
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