Above the Glebe by Pamela Gilpin Stowe


Above the Glebe

I didn’t get much done on Labor Day, and it’s Pamela Gilpin Stowe’s fault. I started reading her historical novel, Above the Glebe, on Saturday, but was too busy on Sunday to continue, even though I couldn’t wait to get back to it.

So Labor Day afternoon, with a Maine microbrew, I sat outside in the shade, enjoying the beautiful day, and read for about 3 hours, finishing the book. And what a finish it was.

Of course, I’m not going to spoil the book by telling you about the finish, but I can tell you this: The subtitle, A Farming Family’s Heartbreak During the American Revolution, doesn’t begin to describe this engrossing story of the divisions, challenges, disappointments, and tragedies that the Revolution brought to our country.

The Holmes family was divided by the Revolution, with members on both sides, and their torment gives the reader a very good understanding of just how difficult this was on that family. Five Holmes brothers enlist on the Loyalist side, while their two sisters marry revolutionaries.

Stowe brings it all home, in a very compelling way, and gave me a much different perspective of the Revolution than I’d had before reading the book. Heartbreak indeed, on both sides of the conflict.

Her dialogue is exceptional, and carries the story well. Be prepared to sit for a while, because you too will not want to stop reading!

Stowe is a retired educator who divides her time between homes in Auburn and Jonesport. I can only hope she’s working on a new novel. I want to know more about what happened to that divided Holmes family!

George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website, georgesmithmaine.com, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.