Jarrettsville: A Novel

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Counterpoint Press, 2009 - Fiction - 340 pages
2 Reviews
Based on a true story from the author's family history, Jarrettsville begins in 1869, amid chaos and confusion in the moments following Martha Jane Cairnes's murder of her fiance in front of fifty witnesses and former Union militia members. To find out why she killed him, the story steps back to 1865, six days after the Confederate surrender, when President Lincoln has just been killed by John Wilkes Booth. Booth belongs to the same Rebel militia as Martha's hotheaded brother Richard, who has gone missing. Martha is loyal to her brother but in love with Nicholas McComas, a local hero of the Union cause. Their affair is fraught with echoes of the bloody conflict just ended and destined to be divided by it. Set in northern Maryland, six miles below the Mason-Dixon line--where brothers literally fought on opposing sides, and former slave-owners live next door to abolitionists and freedmen--Jarrettsville uses as a backdrop the most precarious and contentious era in American history. Such tension proves key to Martha's motives in killing the man she loves, and why--astonishingly--she is soon acquitted by a jury of her peers. Told from several perspectives, Jarrettsville is an unforgettable experience, and Nixon's best book yet.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - grnpickle - LibraryThing

This was a very interesting book. I found the many points of view interesting and probably would have given it 5 stars if she would have reordered the points of view. I would have left Nick for last since it was such a different take on what happened. All in all a good book. Read full review

JARRETTSVILLE

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

The tragic end of a love affair precipitates an epic court case in a small Maryland town riven by the Civil War. Martha Jane Cairnes shoots Nicholas McComas to death at a celebration of the fourth ... Read full review

Contents

Martin Jarrett MD Confederate States Army Veteran 2
2
Joshua Jarrett Youth 7
7
Alex McComas United States Army Veteran 10
10
Mrs Ayres Farmers Wife 14
14
II Martha Jane Cairnes 1865 21
21
III Nicholas McComas 18651869 111
111
IV We the People aprilmay 1869 217
217
Charles Bouldin Harford County Sheriff 218
218
Thomas Archer Member of the Jury 246
246
G Richard Cairnes Distiller of Fine Whiskey 254
254
Mary Ann Bay Cairnes Mother of the Accused 270
270
Martha Jane Cairnes the Accused 314
314
EpilogueCornelia Nixon GreatGranddaughter of George Andrew Cairnes 330
330
Family Tree 333
333
The New York Times may 9 1869 334
334
About the Author 340
340

Henry Farnandis Esquire Attorney at Law 224
224
Isabelle Cairnes Kirkwood Mother of Seven 228
228

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