John (Marsden) Ehle (Jr.)

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Phoebe-Lou Adams

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Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 133

Mr. Ehle always writes about the people of the North Carolina mountains in an unfussy style and with a sharp ear for local speech. His latest novel [The Journey of August King], set in the early nineteenth century, records the adventures of a law-abiding, grimly industrious farmer who, to his own bewilderment, risks his life and loses valuable property to help a runaway slave girl escape to the North. The work is notable for the contrast between the gentle tone of the narrative and the horrors it describes. A device which might have proved merely inappropriate actually creates a kind of eerie chiaroscuro.

Phoebe-Lou Adams, in a review of "The Journey of August King," in The Atlantic Monthly (copyright © 1971, by The Atlantic Monthly Company, Boston, Mass.; reprinted with permission), Vol. 229, No. 1, January, 1972, p. 97.

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