Tom Blomquist - Executive Producer of Catherine Marshall’s Christy and Author of Silent Partners and Eye of the Storm
December 16, 2019
"In the tradition of Catherine Marshall’s classic novel Christy, Patricia Ann Ledford paints elegant word pictures that share her pages with well-defined characters moving through an epic story. In particular, the title character of Hope O’Connor in Strings – The Story of Hope, is most compelling as she summons her faith and determination to survive despite the many challenges that confront her. This is a powerful and authentic work of historical fiction that stays with you long after the reading is done.”
Reviewed in the United States on December 2, 2019
Although her first published book, Patricia Ann Ledford shows her great talent for the craft of writing in this historical novel. While most begin with a slow paced setting of the stage before moving into the story, “Strings”, set in 1776, reaches out and grabs the reader’s attention almost instantly as Hope, the aptly named main character, a mere fifteen years old, is plunged into such an unthinkable situation that she is barely able to understand or even remember exactly what happened. The story continues to grip the reader across four generations as Hope, the heart and soul of this meticulously researched and imaginative narrative, finds herself in nearly impossible situations, especially considering her youth, quickly, too quickly, coming of age where the thinly populated newly planted civilization met the wild frontier, in what would become East Tennessee. The native Indians deeply resented the intrusion of the white settlers, who frequently found themselves ambushed, homes burned, families sometimes wiped out, as the cultures clashed, where before just Indians had at times fought only with Indians. Hope quickly finds herself alone in the wilderness, with only her “best friend”, her loyal horse Isaiah. Time after time, as it seems she has found refuge and safety with settlers, some thing or some one turns on her. The often underestimated battle of King’s Mountain is intertwined, as the talented author unwinds the account, “Strings” continues to hold onto the reader to find out what else, what next, could possibly happen to this, at the beginning, practically a child, then turned frontierswoman, and how will she save herself from unexpected difficult, to say the least, situations.
Occasionally and appropriately graphic to make the connected events realistic and intense at times, the pace of the adventure captivates the reader as Hope finds the strength and will to go on, to steer her life through the unimaginable difficulties until an unexpected connection changes her harsh life. This is an extremely well wrought literary work that would make a great mini series or movie. Looking forward to a sequel and more of Patricia Ann Ledford’s creativity.
November 30, 2019
Great history brought to life from this area of the United States that was key to opening up the western expansion.. but first the British needed humbled. Takes place in later 1700's. Gird up your loins cause there are some very painful moments. The reader can tell that Patricia Ledford use to the the commissioner for the Tennessee Film Industry.. the book reads like a mini-series. I won't share any spoilers.. but I read it in two days.. it keeps attention. There are a few questions left to ponder but would have required a longer ending in the last quarter of the book.. leaving an opener for book 2 which I understand is currently being written by Patricia Ledford. It wasn't an easy life for Settlers or the Cherokees and nearby Tribes.. you'll gain an appreciation for both sides of this part of American history.
1. The sins of the fathers will echo through the reading..
2. Never give up.
September 3, 2019
I liked the fact that the story moved quickly. A fast page turner. It also had a lot of information about the area in which I live. Poor old Isaiah the horse.. Read the book and enjoy the story when life wasn't so convenient. Annette Bigelow
December 10, 2019
When one begins a book and can't put it down, it is good. When one finishes the book and thinks of its characters as lost friends - it is great. I am so happy to know that this one will be reintroduced to Hope and Will and others in the not too distant (I hope) future!
August 28, 2019
A young girl becomes a woman all too soon as she faces the hazards of living in dangerous times. Indian raids, the war for independence and the perils of building a new nation are all included.
You will find yourself eager to discover what happens to Hope, her horse Isaiah and her family. It pulls at your heart strings. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
“What a book !! Could not put it down. I live in Burnsville NC, Hard time in the late 1700. You have captured my interest and I thank you. Will this be a series? Good luck with your book signing. I love that orchard. These mountains are so beautiful. I lived and was born in Vermont. The Appalachian trail goes through Killington Vermont and it also goes through Yancey co. Near Roan Mt. 1000 miles south. We love it here. Keep writing, I'll be looking for author Patricia Ann Ledford in amazon. :-)”
5.0 out of 5 starsPat Ledford sparks life into the late 1700s in TN/NC!
July 13, 2019Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
This historical novel about the life of a young woman (and her horse) in NE Tennessee and Western NC during the American Revolution is a gripping tale of strength and determination. Indian raids, fire, rape, murder and war ignite the pages in a way that keeps you from putting it down. Painstaking research is evident in the historical accuracy of the story.
5.0 out of 5 starsAppealing Characters
July 19, 2019Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Pat Ledford has captured the late 18th century hardships and challenges with a plot that twists and turns to keep the reader's interest. Her research is amazing, and Hope will appeal to everyone.
Thomas B. Yancey
5.0 out of 5 starsmoves fast, makes history relatable
July 14, 2019Format: Hardcover
Strings: the Story of Hope, is an ambitious, insightful historical novel about a neglected corner of America's history, when the Revolution came to the southern frontier and independent mountain patriots responded. The story starts fast and covers a lot of ground and time, but always held my interest. Fifteen-year-old Hope O'conor, the central character, is secure in the remote southern mountains with her daddy and her cinnamon-colored horse, until she is swept up by an Indian uprising that forces her to fend for herself and bear a child out of wedlock. With little but grit, faith and her horse Isaiah, she is sent out on her own, with a vague hope of finding her father, hoping he is alive. Along the way she is taken in by a frontier family, a blessing that starts well but soured by prejudice and abuse. Two of her "foster brothers" are swept up in the march to the Battle of Kings Mountain, which Washington called one of the turning points of the Revolutionary War, but they could hardly understand it. This part helped me better understand the meaning of "the fog of war." Other parts helped me see the way children have little choice but to learn by watching their elders, often repeating their elders' mistakes. Hope makes several bad choices too, decades worth, but it's possible to see why they could have seemed right at the time. Without preaching, the book shows how God works for the good of those who trust him, though it isn't often easy and is seldom quick. Patricia Ledford is a gifted writer, good at beautiful (and also grim) description, and also good at giving this male reader glimpses into female fears and perceptions. I hope she writes more books.
5.0 out of 5 starsGreat historically accurate novel of TN-NC 1770's
July 16, 2019Format: Hardcover
Loved the action in this excellent novel about a young girl named Hope and her struggles during the frontier Indian uprisings of the 1770's. full of action and surprises which keeps your interest and you can't put it down. I read this novel in 4 days which is a record for me as I usually fall asleep after about 8 - 10 pages. well illustrated and well written novel. I am proud to say I know the author of this excellent novel who has embarked on another successful journey. keep the books coming PAL. You make us proud of your successes.
5.0 out of 5 starsSo descriptive, places you in the moment.
July 16, 2019Format: Hardcover
This book grabs you from the first page. The detailed descriptions of the characters--both physical & emotional--helpg the reader to know them... and to feel their joys, sorrows, fears, pain. The beautiful descriptions of the many landscapes as well as the details of devastation, makes you feel as if you are there witnessing events as they unfold. I read this book hard for the first 275 pages because I couldn't wait to learn what was to happen next to Hope, or Jared or Jake. But then I found myself slowing down, not reading as often & finally realized I didn't want the book to end! So I hope there will be a sequel!
"I don't often read books because I fall asleep after the first two or three pages. However, every part of the book is filled with action and suspense. I never wanted to put it down until I finished reading it. I highly recommend it!
REVIEW BY CATHY H
Strings, the Story of Hope is a very well written historical fiction novel. Hope, is a young girl forced to flee her home in Northeast Tennessee when it was set on fire by the Cherokees in July, 1776. Her journey shows her courage as she struggles to survive on her own with only her horse, Isaiah, and a handmade sling for a weapon.
The author’s character descriptions bring all the characters to life, and this reader feels as if she knows all of them, even the evil ones. The story keeps the reader interested, and makes the book hard to put down.
The research allows the reader to learn about life in the late 1700’s and the struggles of the new settlers as they built homes, grew produce, and hunted animals for food. You learn about trading with the Cherokee’s etc., at trading posts, grain mills, blacksmith shops, etc.
The novel will cause the reader to feel emotionally involved in Hope’s story as she meets strangers, helps them, and lives her spiritual life through her reading of the Bible. The reader will experience joy, love, and tears and will not want the story to end. This novel will appeal to everyone. Five Stars!