A Tropical Frontier: Tales of Old Florida
Copyright 2011 by Tim Robinson
Tim Robinson has managed to capture the roots of pioneer families in southeastern Florida is a manner that is both entertaining and brimming with historical perspective. He presents stories of the MacLeods, the Dawsons, the Hackensaws, and their relatives and neighbors from about the year 1820 until the end of the civil war, a span of nearly fifty years in an area along Florida’s east coast stretching from St. Augustine to Cape Florida and the upper keys. A work of historic fiction, Tales of Old Florida reads like a blow by blow narrative of the lives of real people living in a tough, remote and isolated environment.
Beginning with beach-combing along Biscayne Bay’s barrier islands for the remains of ship-wrecks and progressing through the establishment of the Hackensaw homestead near Jupiter and Bobbie Hackensaw’s coastal freight business, and through the Union blockades of the Civil War, Robinson gives us larger than life characters in Will Dawson, Nathan MacLeod, Charlie MacLeod and Bobby Hacksensaw; and heroic women in Mary Ann MacLeod, Elizabeth Dawson, Abigail Hackensaw and Sally MacLeod. In this book, Mr. Robinson lays the groundwork for The Cowhunters, the story of Billy and Bo Hackensaw, and The Gladesman, the later story of Betsy Dawson and Samuel Jesup and the origin of Maggie Hooker, Nels Prescot’s target to be in The Gladesman.
Mr. Robinson does of great job of developing complex characters that each have their own personal devils to fight down. He does an equally great job of placing them in their historic context and facing them with the real challenges of their era.
A Tropical Paradise: Tales of Old Florida is bound to please any fan of Florida history, or any fan of historic fiction generally. The story is plausible and well researched and, for me, it was a joy to read.
Clabe Polk is into a second career as a fiction author. He has taken more than thirty-seven years of professional managerial experience, scientific background, a lifetime of practical skills, his love of reading, research and writing and combined them into action stories about real people told in a tongue-in-cheek style all his own.
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