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Howard Frank Mosher Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Disappearances (1977)Description / Buy at Amazon
Marie Blythe (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Stranger in the Kingdom (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
Northern Borders (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Fall of the Year (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
The True Account (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Waiting for Teddy Williams (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
On Kingdom Mountain (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
Walking to Gatlinburg (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
God's Kingdom (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Story Collections

Points North (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Where the Rivers Flow North (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

North Country (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Great Northern Express (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon

Howard Frank Mosher was an American writer that wrote literary fiction set in the North East. Mosher was born in Kingston, New York to Helen Emily Trapp and Howard H. Mosher. He once referred to his hometown as a ghost town, a dying mill town where he spent most of his happy memories secluded behind his house catching trout from as early as four years. His father was a schoolteacher with wanderlust who moved the family more than ten times before Howard joined high school. However, the moving around had one silver lining; if they had never moved so much he would never have met his future wife in Cato, New York. Writing of his meeting with Phillis Claycomb he said that he was sitting in his school room one day when he looked up from his book to see a slender blonde with strawberry hair and a pretty face and the sweetest of smiles come through the door. From then on, the two would sit beside each other in their classes, and his early attempts at writing sarcastic stories about the teachers in his early adolescent years were meant to entertain Phillis. They both went to Syracuse University with Howard graduating with a bachelor in English, and Phillis with a bachelor in science education. They were married soon after graduation and got jobs in Orleans. In the meantime, Howard studied at the University of Vermont for his masters before moving west for a graduate program at the University of California Irvine. He hated it so much that he barely lasted three days before he drove back to Northern Vermont and the mountains he loved so much. He spent most of the following decade cutting pulpwood with Jake Blodgett a former whiskey smuggler and trout angler.

In 1964, he found a job in the Northeast Kingdom as a high school teacher of English while his wife taught science. Interacting with the locals, they soon learned that they had stumbled upon one of the richest stashes of stories that no one had ever thought to write. One of the best stories that inspired him to get back to writing was a story told by the landlady of the first property they rented in Orleans. The landlady told of how she had tactfully managed to dissuade a federal agent from arresting her for making illicit liquor during the Great Depression. Her argument was that if she could no longer sell the illicit liquor, she would most definitely lose her farm. Ten years after the death of her husband, she met the federal agent and the two got married. The story was so beautiful for the Moshers, that immediately they heard it, they knew the stories of the Northeast Kingdom had to be told. The overall story of the landlady made its way into “Where the Rivers Flow” North Mosher’s 1978 published work that included a novella and short stories. The novels early success led to the publication of more novels in the still ongoing series. Jay Craven one of Howard Mosher’s friends adapted five of the novels including “Disappearances” and “Northern Border” into films.

The fictional Kingdom County series of novels by Frank Howard Mosher is set in New England and could be best compared to William Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha County. Mosher once called his Northern Kingdom a jumble of three counties with scattered farms on the hills, glacial lakes, deep forests, and rugged mountains. The people live in and close to nature just as it were in the beginning for all the people that came to the United States before the bustling cities. The familiar Kinessons that Mosher based on the members of his family are the quintessential frontier folk that hold the story together. Given the emphasis on place, the setting was perfect for some of his best descriptive novels such as “Northern Borders” and “Gods Kingdom”. The novels have a picturesque description of the country and have the high-octane action typically found in Westerns even as they are set in the East. Some novels such as “Where the Rivers Flow North” and “Disappearances” come with Wild West scenes such as whiskey running and violence while “A Stranger in the Kingdom” even has an explosive frontier violence scene. The novels are very similar to the likes “Lonesome Dove” by Larry McMurtry or “The Big Sky” by Bud Guthrie. Set in the rural setting of Vermont, they are full of loggers, farmers, trappers and whiskey runners, some of whom are characters inspired by real life stories he heard from locals. Mosher died of Cancer in January 2017; he is survived by his wife Phyllis, his brother Terry, his son Jake, daughter Annie and two grandchildren.

“A Stranger in the Kingdom” the first novel in the Northern Kingdom series by Howard Frank Mosher is set in 1952 Vermont. Jim Kinnesson is happy when he turns thirteen though he never expected his life to change so drastically when a black preacher and his son immigrate to the town. While they are generally accepted, there are many that treat them with racist attitudes, given that they are the first black people seen that far north in years. Things turn for the worse for the black family when a girl that has been adopted by the minister turns up murdered, with the minister the lead suspect. Charlie who is Jim’s brother believes the man is innocent and takes the case. But before he can prove him innocent he may need to resolve the mystery of who may be responsible. “A Stranger in the Kingdom” is a novel of ignorance, family ties, religion, and prejudice that ends with lasting change to the Northern Kingdom.

“Northern Borders” is a novel cataloguing Mosher’s nostalgia for life in Kingdom County of Vermont. Six year old Austen Kitttredge had left his home in 1948 after the death of his mother to go live in “Lost Nation” township where his grandparents have a farm. His experience in “Lost Town” was full of great memories including conflicts in the schoolhouse that was just one room, an excellent performance of Shakespeare, an annual family reunion, and the county fair. The author tells the story in an enchanting tone that showcases the intense narrative of how a boy turns into a man, including the challenges and triumphs, and the deepest fears and childhood secrets. “Northern Borders” is one of the very few stories that tell of what it was to grow up in a farm in 40s and 50s northeast. Mosher excellent portrays the beauty of the land and relationships, and as contrasted with the harshness of rural existence.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Howard Frank Mosher

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