The Indigo Scarf

The Indigo Scarf
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  • Item #: 9781620061695

In 1882, Anna Maria Sharpe is departing from Washington’s Baltimore and Potomac Railroad station for the north-central Pennsylvania backwoods she’d fled in her teens doubtful of her identity. She encounters Benjamin James, a drifting, alcoholic longshoreman who’d been implicated in the murder of his brother during Anna Maria’s childhood. Benjamin decides to join her. Along the way, he relates the tale of the ancestors of their sordid hideaway settlement: his father, the infamous ex-slave Jedediah James; George Sharpe, a former indentured grist-miller whom Anna Maria believes was her grandfather; and Sarah Starret and Rosanna Wheler, the white women they had escaped with to the wild Sinnemahone country. Through the story, Anna Maria discovers an intimate connection to the man Benjamin had been accused of murdering, and to the murderer. 

Benjamin’s account of the life of Jedediah James reveals a fatal obsession with ownership driving this freed slave toward his reckoning. Clandestine Quakers and a sympathetic prothonotary try to help James as hostilities build to a head between him and the august revolutionary war veteran Samson Starret and Thomas Tillman, a man fixated on a woman an ex-slave threatens to steal from him on the eve of his possessing her. The scenes of The Indigo Scarf take the reader from a forbidden slave marriage on a plantation in Virginia’s tidewater region to the tragic end of a whiskey and timber-pirating operation on the Susquehanna’s un-peopled and feral West Branch during the frontier decades after Pennsylvania’s last Indian purchase.

What Others Are Saying:

“A wonderful tale with glimpses of classics like Gone With The Wind, Roots and one of my all-time favorites, Amistad.” -- Ken Bangs, author of Guardians In Blue 

“A fascinating, rich story.” -- Lee Byrd, Publisher, Cinco Puntos Press

"Epic in scope, The Indigo Scarf offers a cautionary tale that spans decades as characters confront the brutal legacy of slavery. Historically anchored, and set geographically in a wilderness both harsh and spirit-breaking, Piccirillo confronts--among many--themes of redemption and bitterness, loyalty and freedom. Told in a clear-edged prose, I found myself carried deeper and deeper into the events and lives of these characters. And without ever being instructed on how to interpret or feel, I nonetheless finished the novel thinking about the myriad lessons for our troubled times."  -- Jack Driscoll, author of The Goat Fish and the Lover's Knot

About the Author:

PJ Piccirillo’s stories and articles have appeared widely. He is the author of the novel Heartwood and has twice won the Appalachian Writers Association Award for Short Fiction. He lives with his wife and three sons in north-central Pennsylvania, which has always been home.

by PJ Piccirillo
Trade Paperback - 6 x 9 x 1
330 Pages
FICTION / African American / Historical
FICTION / Romance / Historical / American
FICTION / Historical / General
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Price $19.95
Availability In-Stock

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