Chapel Hill, N.C. : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2003.
309 p. : map ; 24 cm
In the 1780s, unrest ruled the Carolinas. Settlers were arriving to clear forest glades and ridges as the Cherokees withdrew; British forces were pillaging as the patriots mustered for battle. Robert Morgan's stunning new novel tells a story of two young people caught in the chaos and war raging in the wilderness. Only sixteen years old, Josie Summers murders her abusive stepfather and, wearing his clothes to disguise herself as a man, flees the family farm. Almost immediately lost in the snowy woods, she accepts a young Methodist preacher's invitation to assist in his itinerant ministry. When Joseph's true identity is revealed, the Reverend John Trethman is racked with guilt at having shared his home with a young woman and then falling in love with her. His solution is to marry Josie, performing as both minister and bridegroom. Not long after their wedding, John is kidnapped by British soldiers and forced to minister to their wounded and bury their dead. Josie again disguises herself as a man and joins the North Carolina militia to avoid being taken for a spy. On January 17, 1781, in a wooded pasture called the Cowpens, Josie is gravely wounded in the patriots' victorious battle and despairs of ever seeing John again. Robert Morgan's description of the battle of Cowpens is as vivid and intense as any in Revolutionary War literature. Brave Enemies is a story of romance and enduring love, of the struggle to build a homeland as one era is dying and another age of freedom and discovery is being born.