Book Reviews

True Crime, Family Feuds, and a Red Ribbon

An Appalachian Feud Blows Up in 1912
Step into True Colors — a new series of Historical Stories of Romance and American Crime
In Carroll County, a corn shucking is the social event of the season, until a mischievous kiss leads to one of the biggest tragedies in Virginia history. Ava Burcham isn’t your typical Blue Ridge Mountain girl. She has a bad habit of courtin’ trouble, and her curiosity has opened a rift in the middle of a feud between politicians and would-be outlaws, the Allen family. Ava’s tenacious desire to find a story worth reporting may land her and her best friend, Jeremiah Sutphin, into more trouble than either of them planned. The end result? The Hillsville Courthouse Massacre of 1912.

What I Loved: Wow! I’m slowly picking through Basham’s list of offers. If you’re like me and haven’t read any or many by Basham before, The Red Ribbon is certainly a solid place to start.
The setting welcomes you like a true friend. It’s vivid and rich. But it’s also real and comfortable. Basham has a way of expressing the setting that makes you feel like you’re part of the story instead of simply looking in.
The romance was heart-stoppingly sweet and carried throughout the entire story at a natural pace.
I particularly loved the quotes of wisdom from the main characters’ family members at the top of every chapter. These were fitting for the story but also refreshing for my soul as well.
I also appreciated how we didn’t have to wait until the end to see the spiritual theme but it was sewn into the fabric of the story, much like the beloved quilts of Appalachia.
But this story isn’t just about setting, romance, or religion. It’s about a real crime that took place in Carroll County. While the crime itself was brutal, the retelling of it was well done. The facts were respected as they were tucked inside the fictional story. It was interesting to watch the events unfolding.

Rating and Recommendations: I’m giving The Red Ribbon 5 stars and recommending it to those who enjoy true crime, Christian historical, or Appalachian fiction.

~ I received a copy from the publisher. I was not compensated for this review or required to give a favorable one. All thoughts are my own.

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