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Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite
The Messenger: The True Story of a Boy Caught in the Aftermath of the Hatfield-McCoy Feud by Claude L. Chafin is an engaging biography that revolves around Andrew Lee Chafin who was the link between the elder Hatfield and his sons from the age of nine. The author takes readers on a journey of his family history and the role of his grandfather in the history of the feuding clans of Hatfield and McCoy. The book, written from the perspective of Claude L. Chafin, speaks about Devil Anse, everyday life in West Virginia, and also about the family feud and struggles that left him frightened. The author also recollects his grandfather's dedication and commitment towards his family, and the courage and maturity he displayed to keep the family safe during difficult times.
The author brings the characters and the incidents to life through his detailed yet crisp narration. Readers can connect well with Andrew Lee Chafin, who showed maturity beyond his years while dealing with situations in life. The book is an excellent portrayal of life and incidents that happened in the Tug Valley region of West Virginia and Kentucky. It's a book for all readers who want to know more about the Hatfield-McCoy feud. It exposes Devil Anse as a person and also as a father, the loyalty of family, and the difficulties and struggles faced by a family. The difficult times, the struggles, the innocence, courage, and fear displayed during hardship, and the family feud between the Hatfield and McCoy clans is aptly described for readers.