So not only did you teach me about writing memoir, you also taught me about reading and thinking about how others write memoir. Thank you so much! Rebecca
Showing posts with label Isle of Wight. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Isle of Wight. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Lumberton, a Novel by William Council

Genealogy is like a disease that those of us who come down with it can't seem to get over, even after twenty years. 

My curiosity about everything underlies most of my writing as well as my interest in the family tree. I recently found and ordered a book by William Council. The title is Lumberton and the main character is Mary Polly Council, a real person who lived in Robeson County, NC. The book is written as ficton. The author has used facts he found in his genealogical research, wills, census records and vital records, court records and other writings about Robeson County residents. Mary Polly was a direct descendant of John Council, the first Council to arrive in Virginia, Isle of Wight County in the sixteen hundreds. 

William Council is a descendant of that line of Councils. I believe I am also a descendant of the first John Council. The families that migrated to Robeson County and surrounding counties from Virginia in the 1700s included members of the Council family. 

My great grandfather was John Cecil Council. Oral history has his family living in the area of North Carolina where they sold "naval stores", products produced from the sap of the pine tree. Pitch, turpentine and tar are naval stores. They were used by carpenters to caulk the seams of wooden ships. The present products of pine tree sap – turpentine and rosin – are still known by that name. 

In 1998 I published a family history book about my grandfather, Tom Council and his ten children. In this book I also included all of Tom's descendants which meant gathering hundreds of names and vital information. This book is written with all the facts known by me and my cousins and other family. 

To write a novel based on truth makes for more interesting reading, I think. Lumberton is a page turner and I only wish the author had hired a professional editor before he published this book. My pet peeve is authors who are in too much of a hurry to see their manuscript in print or don't think they need a professional editor to help them polish and perfect the book before letting it see the light of day.

As a writer, I am stopped each time I see a typo, misspelled words, incorrect punctuation, and in general a book with sloppy text. This is a good story, poorly edited. 

Mary Polly marries the older rich man although she loves the sheriff. Their love story mingled with the history of the era, and knowing she was a real person, perhaps a distant relative, adds to the tension in the book.

I have readers who are family or are researching the same lines that are in my family history book. If you are part of the Council family, I suggest you read William Council's book about Mary Polly Council. 

Lumberton, a novel by William Council  ISBBN 978-1-60743-346-0 (PBK), published by Financial Quest, LLC