Writing Style/Point of View Shiloh is written in the first person, in the voice of Marty Preston, an eleven-year-old boy. Marty lives in rural West Virginia, and his speaking habits reflect this. This is an excellent opportunity to see how an author might develop a character using a local dialect.
Marty's father was sent away to war when Marty was only five years old. His mother took care of him and his two older sisters by herself. Because there was no money for teachers in their small town, Marty had to learn for himself. This is why he can read now, because he takes books out into the farm fields and reads them under the stars.
During the time between his father going to war and returning home, Marty's sister Sarah died. This causes a lot of trouble for his mother, who now has to take care of her remaining son and daughter alone.
One day while out in the fields with his book, Marty hears gunshots coming from the nearby military base. He runs back home to find out that his mother has been shot dead. Now all alone in the world, Marty must decide what to do with his life.
He decides to write a letter to his father telling him what happened and asking him for help. Then he sets off to find your father, the main character in Shiloh.
"Shiloh" is told in the third-person restricted point of view, thus we only get Leroy's point of view. We perceive the other characters via Leroy's eyes rather than an entirely impartial one. This allows for a more intimate story that still keeps with the larger scope of the series.
Leroy was born into a family of trappers in northern Wisconsin. When he was eight years old, his father was killed by a bear during a hunt, and after this tragedy, his mother decided to move the family to St. Louis, where she could find work as a cook at a hotel. Here Leroy would meet and fall in love with the hotel's owner, Sarah Ann Millard, who had been raised by her aunt after her parents were killed by Indians while traveling through their territory. The couple would marry after "Shiloh" was published to great success, and they would have two children together: a son named Boon and a daughter named Wren.
Leroy Jacob Millard was a famous young author whose stories were always very popular with children. When he was not too busy writing, Leroy would help out at the hotel he married Sarah Ann Millard in. They had much in common - they were both creative and loved music - and it wasn't long before they realized they wanted to spend their lives together.
Eleven-year-old Marty Preston, an eleven-year-old kid living in the hills of West Virginia, is the primary character of Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's novel Shiloh. He shares a four-room house with his mother, father, and two sisters, Becky (age three) and Dara Lynn (age seven). His parents are divorced, and he has a close relationship with his father, who died when he was nine.
In addition to writing books for children, Phyllis Naylor also writes adult novels under the name Phyllis Naylor Stone. She lives in Putnam County, West Virginia.
Shiloh is Naylor's first published book. It was released in 1974 by Dodd, Mead & Company. The story is set in the fictional town of Shiloh, which is based on her native Charleston, West Virginia. Marty is a young boy who finds out that he is the heir to a large fortune after his father dies in a car accident. He must then learn to take care of his younger sister Dara and move to New York with only the clothes on his back to start over life-changing events that affect him greatly.
Shiloh has been praised for its realism and characterization. It is also considered a classic example of a coming-of-age story, where young Marty faces many challenges due to his family situation and his new found wealth.