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The Coffin Quilt, September 9, 2001

The Coffin Quilt Reprint Binding: Paperback Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publish Date: 2001/04/01 Synopsis: In the 1880s, young Fanny McCoy witnesses the growth of a terrible and violent feud between her Kentucky family and the West Virginia Hatfields, complicated by her older sister Roseanna's romance with a Hatfield
The Coffin Quilt by Ann Rinaldi is a fictional story based on the historic Hatfield and McCoy feud that occurred near the Kentucky-West Virginia border. Told from the eyes of Fanny McCoy, the youngest of 14 children, this captivating novel tells how the feud, which has been rankling since the Civil War, suddenly explodes into a maelstrom of hatred and violence when Roseanna McCoy elopes with handsome Johnse Hatfield in 1880. Although Roseanna is soon returned to her family, bringing with her an unfinished coffin-decorated quilt and an unborn baby, the damage has already been done and the feud slowly escalates until one terrible night of killing. Rinaldi is adept in her storytelling, providing vivid details and homespun language to accompany her Romeo and Juliet styled story. Although the novel is a tad morbid and slightly difficult to follow with its large cast of characters and tendency to jump around, it still makes an enjoyable read that historical fiction fans will love.

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This is another great book by Ann Rinaldi. In telling the story of the Hatfield-McCoy feud, she uses the voice of Fanny McCoy, the youngest of the McCoy children, whose entire childhood was taken up by and destroyed by the feud. When she was born in 1873, tensions were already high, and renewed over a theft when Fanny was five. Two years later, when Fanny's favorite sister, Roseanna, has an affair with a Hatfield, tensions explode. Over the next ten years, Fanny loses numerous family members to the feud - a sister, several brothers, nearly her mother, who barely survives, Roseanna, who dies of grief - and she loses all chances of a happy and normal childhood as she alternatley mourns her family and fumes with anger. More than just a story of this famous feud, THE COFFIN QUILT was also a portrait of a young girl who tries to rise about the hatred and violence she is surrounded by as she grows up.
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The Coffin Quilt by Ann Rinaldi is a fictional story based on the historic Hatfield and McCoy feud that occurred near the Kentucky-West Virginia border. Told from the eyes of Fanny McCoy, the youngest of 14 children, this captivating novel tells how the feud, which has been rankling since the Civil War, suddenly explodes into a maelstrom of hatred and violence when Roseanna McCoy elopes with handsome Johnse Hatfield in 1880. Although Roseanna is soon returned to her family, bringing with her an unfinished coffin-decorated quilt and an unborn baby, the damage has already been done and the feud slowly escalates until one terrible night of killing. Rinaldi is adept in her storytelling, providing vivid details and homespun language to accompany her Romeo and Juliet styled story. Although the novel is a tad morbid and slightly difficult to follow with its large cast of characters and tendency to jump around, it still makes an enjoyable read that historical fiction fans will love.
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I live in the hills of West Virginia- not very far from where this story is set. When I was younger- I guess in about the 7th grade, we had WV history, which I tried not to pay any attention to as much as possible. Our class did learn about the Hatfields and McCoys, and I wish now that I had paid closer attention. Mostly because I really missed out on a good story- that I never really got a handle on until my own daughter brought home the coffin quilt book for a book report. After she read it, I decided to read it also. Such a good idea! I loved the book so much that I had to buy it for one of my friends to read. She loved it also. This book touched my heart, and I really felt for all of the characters at one point or another in the story. Its a really good read that I would recommend to anyone interested in the Hatfields and McCoys story.
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