Cold Mountain Author:Charles Frazier Cold Mountain'' takes its title from a forested tower, Inman's destination, where the novel reaches its heartbreaking climax. It speaks to the reader with candor and honesty, without flamboyance, or literary tricks, pulling us ever deeper into the thoughts of Ada and Inman as they move irresistibly and fearfully toward one another. — Frazier has ... more »set out a story of love between two people, each wounded, who hardly know each other, but who desperately need not to be alone. Until the very end of the book, they are far apart.
Inman, whose travels are hard, thinks frequently of Ada, who once sat in his lap briefly at a holiday party. Ada, at first concerned with how she will survive after the death of her father, only fleetingly dwells on Inman. After the coming of Ruby, who arrives to set Ada's confused life in order, the former Charleston belle is too busy mastering the art of husbandry of animals and crops to think of the man who is painfully dragging himself across wild country to come home to her.
Beginning with Inman's decision to leave the hospital where he has been recovering from a near-fatal neck wound - thus making him a deserter, or "outlier'' - Frazier recounts the runaway veteran's wanderings in every other chapter or so. Alternate chapters center on Ada's life alone, then her work under the tutelage of Ruby, who is rewarded with Homer.
Frazier's prose is unmannered and direct, yet there is an elegiac feeling about it, especially in his descriptions of trees, plants, birds and animals. Cumulatively, his writing summons an inspiring sense of an uncivilized America nearly 150 years ago, a raw, sometimes beautiful, sometimes ugly place inhabited by people who are savage and cruel, kind and strange. As a fugitive, Inman must take back roads and obscure footpaths, always hiding from the murderous Home Guard. On more than one occasion, he is forced to kill.« less