A Passel of Hate, by Joe Epley

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MWSA Review

A work of historical fiction, A Passel of Hate transports the reader to the Carolina colonies during the American Revolution. In the western Carolinas, the war for independence has set families and neighbors against each other as Loyalist and revolutionary militias patrol the countryside exacting revenge on those who don’t share their political views. In the Godley family, three brothers will side with the British against two brothers who fight with the Liberty Men. The book culminates in the battle of Kings Mountain, where each brother will find out that the cost of war is personal and brutal.

A Passel of Hate is one of the best books I've read this year. The characters are finely crafted, the action is fast-paced, and the historical details are both interesting and accurate.

Reviewed by: Edward Cox (2012)

Author's Synopsis

Gripping, visceral, and full of intensity, A Passel of Hate is as historically fascinating as it is emotionally satisfying; capturing the heartache and triumphs of a war that brutally pits brother against brother, neighbor against neighbor in the western Carolina frontier in 1780. “The first link in a chain of evils…the loss of America” is how Sir Henry Clinton, Britain’s commander-in-chief in the Colonies, describes the decisive American victory at the battle of Kings Mountain. This fact-based novel brings the events leading to that battle into sharp focus through the highly personal experiences of families and individuals who shaped its outcome. Through the eyes of Jacob Godley, A Passel of Hate brings to life the hardships and challenges of frontier living where there is a constant threat from Indians, roving raiders and British invaders. Without government orders or formal training, mountain and piedmont patriots join together with their own weapons and horses to expel a British led Loyalist army that plunders the western Carolina countryside, delivering harsh retribution to those supporting rebellion. Jacob and his 15-year-old brother enter the savage fighting with the Liberty Men, but with a dread of having to face their three Loyalist brothers. The overwhelming victory at Kings Mountain is bittersweet for Jacob who suffers a crushing personal tragedy on the battlefield. In addition, his nemesis, the notorious Tory raider Rance Miller escapes, and Jacob, consumed by hatred, tracks the terrorist through the Carolina backcountry to seek the revenge he so desperately needs. A battle Thomas Jefferson called “the turn of the tide of success,” Kings Mountain has a devastating impact on the British Army’s goal of quashing the rebellion in the south. Brutal in its depiction of the harrowing nature of war and the price paid by our revolutionary ancestors, A Passel of Hate is a powder keg of highly charged personal feelings and military significance.