Book details slave’s story

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 16, 2004

A book signing will be held from 2 – 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 21 at Book Inns in Roanoke Rapids, featuring the locally based novel Kinchen.

Kinchen, in part, is set in Northampton County and captures a tremendous amount of local history as it tells the story of a slave servant who returns home a free black following the Civil War.

But the journey itself is captivating as author John Burgwyn climbs inside the characters and brings them to life in the telling of this very special &uot;southern novel, based on a true family story.&uot;

A Review:

John Burgwyn has hit a homerun with his novel, Kinchen.

Reaching further than the history pages of a world torn apart during the Civil War, Burgwyn captures the life of a loyal slave servant who, undoubtedly without this book, would have faded forever from the grasps of local folklore and tales.

The book is based on a true story, yet Burgwyn weaves the known facts of Kinchen with a wonderful and creative background that literally breaths life into a man with a little known history.

Based on actual accounts of the &uot;Boy Colonel&uot; Henry Burgwyn, the story of Kinchen comes to life through notes, letters and diaries written before, during and after the Civil War.

The book takes both Col. Burgwyn and Kinchen from the security of their Northampton County plantation to the bloody battles fought between the Blue and Gray.

Reading each line is like being transposed to the past. It’s like riding along as Kinchen makes the long journey from Gettysburg to the more familiar surroundings near Garysburg, Jackson and the area he knew as home – Thornbury Plantation.

John Burgwyn paints a perfect portrait of family history mixed delicately with just enough fiction to create a compelling novel that captures the imagination and leaves the reader satisfied with his intent.

Local history buffs will enjoy this book, but anyone wanting a well-written heartfelt story of friendship will find it delightful.

This is, by far, a must read for local residents.