"Cold Mountain" by Charles Frazier is not a new book, but I downloaded and listened to the eAudiobook version for the first time recently. I can't say enough good things about this title. It is read by the author who gives a wonderful rendition with his smooth, Southern accent.
This book has something for everyone. Set in the South when the Civil War's outcome was inevitable, there are murders, raids, romance, wilderness, history, hope, despair, goats, hideous injuries, homeopathy, agriculture and wonderfully drawn characters. The chapters alternate between Inman, who is trying to escape the war and return to the woman he briefly courted before the war; and Ada, the woman he loves, who has been made destitute by the death of her father.
Even though there is a romance and the romance is an essential part of the plot, there is no mush, no knight in shining armor. It is a love story that rings true despite the fact that it was set in the 1860s.
If there is anyone even vaguely resembling a hero in this story it is Ruby. She arrives on Ada's doorstep just in time, pulling her out of starvation and into plenty. The relationship between Ruby and Ada nurtures them both, and their mutual respect, despite their differences, is essential to the plot.
--Julie C., Headquarters