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plum creek coverPlum Creek

by W. W. McNeal


320 pages, 6 x 9 • paper $22.95
ISBN 978-0-87565-641-0

 

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Plum Creek is a historical novel set in nineteenth-century Texas. It is a coming-of-age story involving Billy McCulloch, a fifteen-year-old boy who accompanies a former Texas Ranger, a black man, and two of his uncles on a quest to rescue a fourteen-year-old girl. The girl was captured by a band of renegades led by a half-breed Comanche killer after they slaughtered the rest of her family in a raid on their home in rural Central Texas.

 

The pursuit of the renegades is set against a backdrop of post-Civil War Texas, just beginning to recover from the devastation of war and Reconstruction. The character of the former Texas Ranger is loosely based on John Coffee Hays, known as Jack Hays, who was called “Devil Yack” by many Mexican and Native American people because of the fame he won fighting in the Mexican War and, before and after, fighting the Comanches.

 

As Billy and the older men ride, Texas is emerging into a new age around them. A new social structure is taking hold, the old ways of life are dying, and the future is uncertain.

 

W. W. MCNEAL is a retired trial lawyer and a sixth-generation Texan. He lives on the family ranch in Central Texas with his partner, Cathy, along with two cats and a dog. The land has been in his family for generations, and the original 1850 deed to the property is in his possession. McNeal is also a songwriter who has been a student of Texas and local history for many years. Plum Creek is his first novel.