The A to Z of “River Farm” 26 Things to Know

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The A to Z of River Farm: 26 Things to Know

A is for Alexandria. Catherine Abbott arrives at this port in the colony of Virginia in 1774

B is for biscuits. Catherine is highly skilled in the domestic arts and bakes delicious biscuits

C is for Catherine Abbott, idealistic, optimistic, and beautiful, she is the heroine of our story

D is for Declaration of Independence. James sends Catherine a broadside with the text of this important document soon after it is read aloud to General George Washington’s troops in New York

E is for encampment. Just before the historic Christmas night crossing of the Delaware River in 1776, James writes a letter to Catherine from the army’s encampment at McConkey’s Ferry

F is for faith. Catherine and James are Christians who believe in God and look to Him for guidance, comfort and protection

G is for Grayson. Catherine unwittingly attracts the attention of Silas Grayson, a dangerous ruffian with a frightening reputation

H is for Halloween, or All Hallow’s Eve. On this night Catherine and James attend a country celebration where they enjoy dancing, a corn husking . . . and their first kiss

I is for indenture. To pay her passage from England, Catherine is offered for hire as an indentured servant when she arrives in Virginia

J is for James Craig. Physician and gentleman farmer, he is the owner of River Farm and the hero of our story

K is for kissing. No romance novel would be complete without a certain amount of this activity!

L is for lilacs. Catherine’s favorite flower is the lilac because it reminds her of her happy childhood

M is for midwifery. Catherine assists James with the births of several babies, a task she finds fascinating and very rewarding

N is for night. Catherine has always loved the night sky and gazing at the stars. She is filled with happiness when she realizes that day or night, the view from River Farm is always beautiful

O is for oaks. Catherine discovers a circle of stately old oak trees on James’s land. She compares this naturally occurring growth to a cathedral that God himself built

P is for Polly Goodrick. The kind but opinionated housekeeper of River Farm, she is a caring and concerned mother figure to both James and Catherine

Q is for quadrille. James and Catherine dance together during a night of square dancing and reels

R is for River Farm, the gracious and beautiful place on the Potomac River where Catherine goes to live and, she hopes, to build a new life for herself

S is for Sadie, the wife of River Farm’s handyman Sam, Sadie becomes Catherine’s good friend

T is for Tory. James, as a staunch supporter of American independence, is decidedly not a Tory

U is for unavailability. James’s emotional unavailability when he returns from the war causes friction in his relationship with Catherine

V is for Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. The Continental Army settles here in winter quarters in 1777.

W is for Washington. George Washington is James’s oldest and closest friend. We meet him and his wife Martha at Mount Vernon many times during the story

X is for eXtended family. James, who has no family of his own, affectionately refers to the workers who live at River Farm as his extended family

Y is for years. During the American Revolution, James is away from home for several years. This time passes quickly for the readers but for James and Catherine, the separation seems interminable

Z is for zephyr. Situated on a hillside above the Potomac, River Farm is often cooled by gentle breezes

And there you have it, an A to Z of River Farm. Which one is your favorite? Which one interests you the most? I would love to know!

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