A TROPICAL FRONTIER: THE GLADESMAN
Port Sun Publishing
Copyright 2013 by Tim Robinson
ISBN – 13-978-1481899536
Tim Robinson has produced a series of books about pioneer Florida; the Florida of the 1800s when a sprinkling of hearty American frontier families, a few Spanish settlers and Native Americans of Seminole and Muskogee lineage were the sole inhabitants of Florida, and survival often required a combination of common sense, hard work, personality, sometimes meanness, and always helping each other in order to get by. Even so, pioneer life in Florida was one of isolation for many families; especially those like Nelson (“Nels”) and Jenny Prescott. The Gladesman is the story of how the Prescott’s lived in the late 1880s when civilization in the Lake Worth area was confined to a narrow ridge between the Lake and the endless tracks of cypress and sawgrass that were the Everglades.
Nels Prescott was raised by his grandfather in the Everglades and the glades are all he knows. He enjoys the isolation at his camp some twenty-five miles into the Everglades from Port Starboard on Lake Worth. He particularly enjoys the hunting and fishing, but most of all he enjoys harassing the Seminoles who think he’s crazy and avoid him whenever possible. Nels’ Kentucky mail order bride, Jenny, is pregnant. Nels knows next to nothing about pregnancy, but knows everything about hunger and decent cooking; most of all he knows that no matter how hard Jenny tries, she does not know how to cook. When Nels sets out to kidnap the best cook in Lake Worth, Maggie Hooker, who is the black post mistress of the Port Star board Post Office, lead singer for the church’s Christmas cantata, chief cook for the Starboard Hotel and wife of Booker T. Hooker, all Hell breaks loose resulting in a man-hunt that can only be truly appreciated by those who have personally experienced the Everglades.
Tim Robinson has created an entertaining cast of characters all of which have unique personalities that give them their own unique role in the story. One might be tempted to say “come now, characters like this don’t really exist” (the French Count for example) but upon a moment’s reflection one realizes that they not only exist, but were just the type of personalities that thrived in the relative isolation of pioneer Florida. The strength of the personalities guarantee conflict between individuals even when united for a common purpose and Mr. Robinson does a great job of painting the conflicts in vivid colors.
The Gladesman will be appreciated by anyone who is a fan of historical novels, Florida history, or anyone who is just looking for a good, sometimes humorous, read. Most of all, it will be appreciated by those of us who are native Floridians and have spent at least a little time in the Everglades who understand their unique nature and the special human temperament required to survive there. FIVE STARS, Clabe Polk
Hi folks...I'm into a second career as a fiction author. After more than thirty-seven years of professional managerial experience, scientific background, and a lifetime of practical skills, my love of reading, research and writing has combined into action stories about real people told in a tongue-in-cheek style.
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