‘Red Dog’ is a coming-of-age story

Reviewed by Chandler Holland
Times-News correspondent

   “The Red Dog: A Tale of the Carolina Frontier (Lizzy’s Yarn, Volume 1)”: by Carole Troxler. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. Copyright 2017. 170 pages; $11.99 paperback and $8.99 Kindle.

“The Red Dog” is a story about Lizzy, a young girl orphaned in backcountry 18th century central North Carolina. Lizzy is apprenticed to Tomm, owner of The Red Dog tavern, after the death of her mother. She learns to               handle her new life with unbridled curiosity. Unfortunately, her brother is apprenticed to a different “master,” and her quest to find him leads to many adventures and new friendships. Upon arriving at the Red Dog, “Goody” is not pleased with her husband’s having brought home a Caucasian servant. However, after Tomm assures his wife that Lizzy is an apprentice awarded by the court and can’t

run away, his wife backs off a bit, though she never fully warms up to Lizzy.
Lizzy truly earns her keep, working hard in both the kitchen and public house; milking the cows, cleaning the guest rooms, and managing the finances for the tavern.
Though set in a time long gone, a multitude of issues in the story are still relevant today such as drug overdose, racism and political turmoil. The mention of numerous nearby towns, rivers and counties that are still here today further solidify the reality of the story. Detailed descriptions of day-to-day activities pull you further in, while at the same time subtly teaching you about herbal lore, running a tavern in colonial times, folk stories, the beginning of the Regulator movement and the establishment of slavery in North Carolina.
Local award-winning author and historian Carole Troxler’s first foray into historical fiction rings with the colonial dialect of the mid 1700s. Lizzy is torn between saving her friends from injustice, being loyal to those who have been kind to her, finding her brother, attempting to understand the political turmoil of the times and handling her own life.

Chandler Holland is a home-schooled high school graduate and a Teens & 20s writer. She looks forward to attending Warren Wilson College, and will obtain her NC Environmental Educator Certification during her gap year.

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