The Bookplate is continuing their author event series in partnership with Chef Steve Quigg and The Kitchen for the fall season. On Wednesday, September 20th at 6pm, all are invited to The Kitchen and Pub at The Imperial Hotel to welcome author David O. Stewart back to Chestertown as he discusses the second in his series of historical novels, The Burning Land.
The Burning Land, book 2 of The Overstreet Saga brings the reader back to the Civil War and its aftermath, when Americans fought to determine what the nation would become—a time of excitement, opportunity, and agonizing loss, when history played havoc with the lives of ordinary people like Henry Overstreet and Katie Nash.
In 1861, Henry and Katie have found love on the rugged Maine coast. He builds boats. She wants to teach school whenever her family duties relent. Their hearts are light and the future looks bright. Then America explodes in a civil war.
At first surprised by Katie’s anti-slavery feelings, then persuaded, Henry enlists in the 20th Maine Infantry, fated to become a legendary regiment in the Union Army. Staggering through a dozen brutal battles, including the desperate defense of Little Round Top at Gettysburg, he rises to sergeant. Katie, working on short-term teaching contracts, organizes neighboring women to make warm items for Maine’s men in uniform. Quiet letters between Henry in army camps and Katie at home strengthen their love. Finally receiving a brief furlough, he hurries home for a rushed wedding and precious hours as man and wife.
But history’s grip is fierce.
A ghastly battlefield wound ends Henry’s war. Katie nurses him through a long recuperation, but they cannot agree—should they return to Maine or join America’s mad flight westward? Ultimately transplanted to booming Chicago, little goes right for them in that overnight metropolis, which will test their strength and commitment as never before.
“[S]urprising readers with unexpected twists and heartrending developments, [The Burning Land] is a rewarding experience. . . .For those wanting a true-to-life experience with indelible characters set during the Civil War—and the transformative years after—this fits the bill in spades.” —Washington Independent Review of Books.
“An intimate, sweeping portrait of a country and couple divided, David O. Stewart’s The Burning Land does what all good historical fiction should do: gives us characters to root for and brings the past so vividly to life it feels like the present. I can’t wait to see how the rest of the trilogy unfolds.” –Louis Bayard, author of Courting Mr. Lincoln and The Pale Blue Eye.
David O. Stewart has published five books of history and five historical novels. His most recent nonfiction work, George Washington: The Political Rise of America’s Founding Father, has won several awards for best work of history for 2021. In 2023, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Washington Independent Review of Books. His most recent novel, set during the Civil War and its aftermath, The Burning Land, is inspired by family stories his mother told. He lives in Maryland with his wife of 48 years, Nancy; they have three children and six grandchildren.
For more event details contact The Bookplate at 410-778-4167 or [email protected]. This event is free and open to the public and reservations are not required. The next author event is scheduled for 10/4 with local author Christina Stinchcomb. The Kitchen at the Imperial Hotel is located at 208 High Street in Chestertown, Maryland.