Patricia McGrane grew up in Johnson City and Nashville, Tennessee and graduated from Peabody College at Vanderbilt University. After completing a career as a professional fundraiser, corporate writer and trainer, magazine writer and editor, and English teacher, she began the next chapter of her life as a fiction writer. After living in Riverside, Connecticut, for thirty-four years and raising their family there, she and her husband recently moved to Melbourne Beach, Florida. Because Of The Horses is her first novel. She is currently researching and writing her next book which continues the story of the Marsh family.
Because Of The Horses, is a complex family story set in 1863 East Tennessee, a uniquely different and independently minded part of the state. Many local citizens still fiercely support the Union despite the rest of the state having voted to secede and join the Confederacy. Some families are active in the remnants of the abolitionist movement and the Underground Railroad. Other families are staunch supporters of the Confederacy and the formation of a new country. With both Confederate and Union troops in the area, families and neighbors are painfully divided as uneasy, explosive situations complicate daily living, resulting in suspicion and fear. Most of all no one wants anyone telling them what to think or do. The story follows the Marsh family as they secretly collaborate with the Union army in a dangerous horse trading arrangement within Confederate occupied territory. Swirling around them is a conflicting mixture of soldiers, freed and runaway slaves, murderers, thieves, historical figures, and regular folk. Mysterious attacks, clandestine meetings, approaching battles, plunder and pillaging, love, and death frame their days. The Marshes draw you into their personal story of “This is how it felt,” to be a small part of society and events separate from, but inevitably tangled in the much bigger social upheaval of the Civil War.