Copyright © Janice Tracy, Mississippi Memories

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Celestial Reflections in the Tallahatchie River, by Mark Adkins, A Book Review

Several months ago, one of my Mississippi readers, Mark Adkins, contacted me to see if I had information about someone he was researching for inclusion in a novel he was writing about the Civil War. In that email, Mark provided some details about the book that was scheduled to be published in late spring or early summer 2009. I was unable to answer Mark’s question about the individual he was researching, but the book piqued my interest, and I offered to publish a review of the book here on Mississippi Memories after it came out.

Earlier this week, I received another email from Mark, telling me that his book had been published, and he asked if I was still interested in reviewing the book on my blog site. I readily agreed to do so, and that review appears here today.

Celestial Reflections in the Tallahatchie River, written by Mark Adkins and categorized by the author as “
historical fiction,” is an exciting tale of adventure and romance during the Civil War in The book focuses on events surrounding the Battle of Fort Pemberton, near Greenwood, Mississippi, and the efforts of Confederate forces to prevent access by Union troops to the Port of Vicksburg. In the book, Adkins tells the story of a fictional character, Joshua Thompson, his life in the South, and his fateful encounter near Greenwood with the Star of the West. The Star of the West was a side-wheel steamer, built by Cornelius Vanderbilt, that was on loan to the U. S. Government to transport Union supplies south after South Carolina seceded from the Union. Confederate forces captured the Star of the West at Fort Sumter and put it into service for the South during the war. In a successful effort to prevent Union troops from making their way down river to the Port of Vicksburg, Thompson and others scuttled the vessel, sinking it sideways in the Tallahatchie River. Joshua Thompson, the book's central character who was serving on board the vessel at the time, lost a treasure during the scuttling activity that would re-surface more than a century in the future. To identify the treasure and to tell more about its discovery would be taking away from the intrigue that surrounds this portion of the book's plot.

Whether you are a Civil War enthusiast or a reader of adventure, action or romance novels, you will enjoy this book by Mark Adkins. His ability to create period characters and weave fact into fiction has produced a book that has something for all readers.

Turnrow Book Company in Greenwood is sponsoring a book-signing event sometime soon. For additional information about this event or about purchasing a copy of Celestial Reflections in the Tallahatchie River, by Mark Adkins, contact Turnrow Book Company, 304 Howard St., Greenwood, MS.

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