ISBN #: 978-1908483555
Page Count: 372
Copyright: May 8, 2013
Publisher: Knox Robinson Publishing
(Taken from the book jacket)
The name Doc Holliday conjures images of the Wild West and the shootout at the OK Corral, but before he was a Western legend he was a Southern son, born in the last days of the Old South with family links to the author of Gone With the Wind. Now this amazing story is told for the first time in a trilogy of novels entitled Southern Son: The Saga of Doc Holliday.
The story begins with Inheritance, set during the turbulent times of the American Civil War, as young John Henry Holliday welcomes home his heroic father and learns a terrible secret about his beloved mother. His only confidant is his cousin Mattie, his childhood sweetheart who shares his memories of plantation life and better days before the War. But Mattie isn't around to comfort him when tragedy strikes and John Henry's young hero-worship turns to bitter anger. As the Confederacy falls, John Henry becomes a troubled teenager and joins in with a gang of vigilantes trying to chase the Reconstruction Yankees out of their small Georgia town. But when a murderous plot brings threats of military prison, he vows to change his reckless ways and leaves Georgia to attend dental school in Philadelphia, hoping to come home as a respected professional man worthy of asking for his cousin Mattie's hand. However, when he returns from two years in the North to begin dental practice in Atlanta he finds his courtship beset with challenges. There are family intrigues, lies and revelations, rivals for Mattie's affections and a violent encounter that changes everything.
Inheritance is the first novel in an epic tale of heroes and villains, dreams lost and found, families broken and reconciled, of sin and recompense and the redeeming power of love.
Like many Americans, I was only aware of Doc Holliday's reputation as it was taught in classes. When presented with the opportunity to review the first of a trilogy concerning Doc Holliday's life I agreed wholeheartedly.
We're introduced to John Henry (Doc) Holliday while he's attending the funeral of his grandfather. We notice that he has a sensitive side, but one he has to hide from his father who believed that men do not show emotion. Personally, I believe that type of attitude ruins some men, but I know that's how a lot of men grow up. For the longest time, though, John Henry holds on to his sensitive side. I think he began to harden his heart when his mother died of consumption. The hardness began to solidify when his father remarried three months later to a young neighbor lady. Their marriage was so quick by society's standards that it was rumored they were having an affair while John Henry's mother was still alive. Add on top of that John Henry's (seemingly) unrequited love for his first cousin, Mattie.
John Henry was somewhat impetuous growing up. As a child, he was able to get himself out of trouble by using his good looks and charm. I think that may have somewhat hindered his sense of responsibility while growing up and led to some bad decisions.
The book ends shortly after Mattie and John Henry confess their mutual undying love and devotion to each other, but before he met up with Wyatt Earp. I would love to read the rest of this trilogy and get a more in-depth look at Doc Holliday's life.
Ms. Wilcox, who is a member of the Western Writers of America and founding director of Georgia's Holliday-Dorsey-Fife House Museum, is a nationally known writer and lecturer on the life of Doc Holliday. It is apparent from this introduction to her trilogy that she knows Doc Holliday very well.
Inheritance is a stellar piece of fiction based on fact that brings Doc Holliday back to life. Fans of the historical fiction genre will add this to their list of favorite books.
*An ecopy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.