KEOWEE VALLEY is set in the colonial period when
settlers were few and far between and native tribes still
owned the land. Quincy is a bluestocking aged 25 in 1768
and resigned to never marrying when a message comes to her
Charleston home that her beloved cousin Owen who vanished
in frontier land six months previously, has been found.
Defying her rich grandfather she sets out to ransom him
from the tribe who hold him, accompanied by a clergyman and
a trunk of trade goods.
The town of Ninety-Six is protected by a fort, a British
garrison which is about to be abandoned by the redcoats.
Quincy cannot wander the Blue Ridge Mountains unguided so
she seeks out a mountain man, finding one who introduces
her to the chief called Carpenter in Keowee Town. Here she
bravely asks to barter for land. She has no intention of
returning to the stifling Carolina society. Granted enough
land to homestead several families, provided she allows the
tribe to pass safely, she starts to make a life for herself
until a trapper can be found to go after Owen. When Jack
Wolf turns up she is scared of him at first, but knowing
she has to trust him, she allows him to take her trade
goods and go after her cousin.
More homesteaders including a manumitted slave have joined
her and the bitter cold of midwinter has arrived before
Owen and Jack return. But Owen has had enough of
adventuring and wants only to settle back East. The rest
of the tale deals with the dangers of frontier life for the
hardscrabble farmers, from bears to bandits, marauding
tribes and Regulators resentful of a freedman. Jack has his
heart set on Quincy as his wife, but he and his brother
Ridge Runner are half Irish and half Cherokee, enough to
exile Quincy from polite society forever. The majestic
Spanish stallion Fire Eater she tames and the freedom to
wear breeches in the cold, seem to compensate... but
politics is catching up with them even here, and word of
revolution reaches them, threatening to destroy all they
The history and landscape of the period is vibrant, the
smells and sights and sounds reaching off the page. KEOWEE
is a fine romance between a girl ahead of her times and a
man who walks in two worlds. I recommend it highly to
those interested in the period.
"Keowee Valley is a terrific first novel by Katherine Scott
Crawford-a name that should be remembered. She has a lovely
prose style, a great sense of both humor and history, and
she tells about a time in South Carolina that I never even
imagined." -Pat Conroy, bestselling author of The Prince of
Tides and South of Broad.
She journeyed into the wilderness to find a kidnapped
relative. She stayed to build a new life filled with
adventure, danger, and passion.
Spring, 1768. The Southern frontier is a treacherous
wilderness inhabited by the powerful Cherokee people. In
Charlestown, South Carolina, twenty-five-year-old Quincy
MacFadden receives news from beyond the grave: her cousin, a
man she'd believed long dead, is alive-held captive by the
Shawnee Indians. Unmarried, bookish, and plagued by visions
of the future, Quinn is a woman out of place . . . and this
is the opportunity for which she's been longing.
Determined to save two lives, her cousin's and her own,
Quinn travels the rugged Cherokee Path into the South
Carolina Blue Ridge. But in order to rescue her cousin,
Quinn must trust an enigmatic half-Cherokee tracker whose
loyalties may lie elsewhere. As translator to the British
army, Jack Wolf walks a perilous line between a King he
hates and a homeland he loves.
When Jack is ordered to negotiate for Indian loyalty in the
Revolution to come, the pair must decide: obey the Crown, or
commit treason . . .
Katherine Scott Crawford was born and raised in the blue
hills of the South Carolina Upcountry, the history and
setting of which inspired Keowee Valley. Winner of a North
Carolina Arts Award, she is a former newspaper reporter and
outdoor educator, a college English teacher, and an avid
hiker. She lives with her family in the mountains of Western
North Carolina, where she tries to resist the siren call of
her passport as she works on her next novel. Visit her at: