“They lived in a house at the end of the road and were friends to mankind”- Kinneson family motto.
In 1930, in the Vermont town of Kingdom Common-- sharing a border with Canada-- lives the fiercely independent Miss Jane Hubble Kinneson, known to most as Miss Jane. On the dawn of her 50th birthday, she finds herself embroiled in a battle with her cousin, Eben Kinneson Esquire, for the preservation of her beloved land, Kingdom Mountain-- some of the last untouched wilderness and home to glacial ponds, flora and fauna, and wildlife dating back 10,000 years. Enter Henry Satterfield, a weather maker and performer with a questionable past, who crash lands on Jane's propery. In keeping with her family’s motto, Jane takes him in and an unlikely friendship develops. Henry has traveled to Kingdom Mountain to solve a riddle written for him by his grandfather, which he believes will disclose the location of the missing treasure of Kingdom Common. In the course of his search, long kept secrets are revealed, uncovering a strange family connection between the new friends. While the battle for Kingdom Mountain intensifies, so does the relationship between Henry and Jane. After all, “all the best stories are about love”, as Miss Jane is fond of saying.
Spending time with Miss Jane is reason enough to read On Kingdom Mountain. A fully realized character, she is self-sufficient, smart, clever and brave. Jane is the type of woman I aspire to be like-- or at the very least, one I would want to have my back. Mosher takes great care with all his characters, avoiding the country folk stereotype—most are eccentric, but well educated, forward thinkers with great names like: Freethinker, Pilgrim and Pharaoh’s Daughter. Kingdom Mountain is a character in itself and featured heavily throughout the story. Mosher’s love of the region is evident through his lush descriptions of plants, colors, light, seasons and moods of the natural world, rendering the ordinary tasks of Jane’s everyday life, beautiful, and the mountain and its surroundings otherworldly.
I was drawn into and enveloped by the imagery of the environment and found myself feeling nostalgic for a past I never experienced. Recommended for anyone looking to step away from the built and modern world and into one of abundant natural beauty and magical possibilities.