Joe Halstead hails from West Virginia, whose state motto is Montani semper liberi (Mountaineers are always free). Halstead’s debut novel, West Virginia, puts that motto to the test! A family suicide brings Jamie Paddock back to the place from which he’d escape years earlier. The novel offers a portrait of the people of Appalachia and life in a difficult, beautiful, and often misunderstood place.
Jeremy Jones is the author of Bearwallow. (Across the Blue Ridge Mountains stretches a world both charming and complicated. Jeremy Jones and his wife move into a small house above the creek where his family had settled 200 years prior. He takes a job alongside his former teachers in the local elementary school and sets out on a search to understand how this ancient land has shaped its people--how it shaped him. His search sends him burrowing in the past--hunting buried treasure and POW camps, unearthing Civil War graves and family feuds, exploring gated communities and tourist traps, encountering changed accents and immigrant populations, tracing Wal-Mart's sidewalks and carved-out mountains--and pondering the future. He meshes narrative and myth, geology and genealogy, fiddle tunes and local color about the briskly changing and oft-stigmatized world of his native southern Appalachians.) Somehow, these journeys continually lead him back to the mystical Bearwallow Mountain, a peak suddenly influx.
Julia Franks wrote Over the Plain Houses (It's 1939, and the federal government has sent Virginia Furman,a USDA agent, into the North Carolina mountains to instruct families how to modernize their homes and farms. There she meets farm wife Irene Lambey, who is immediately drawn to the lady agent's self-possession. Already, cracks are emerging in Irenie's fragile marriage to Brodis, an ex-logger turned fundamentalist preacher: she has taken to night ramblings through the woods to escape her husband's bed, storing strange keepsakes in a mountain crevice. To Brodis, these are all the signs that Irenietiptoeing through the dark in her billowing white nightshirthas become a witch.)
David Joy is the author of Where All the Light Tends To Go (The area surrounding Cashiers, North Carolina, is home to people of all kinds, but the world that Jacob McNeely lives in is crueler than most. His father runs a methodically organized meth ring, with local authorities on the dime to turn a blind eye to his dealings. Having dropped out of high school and cut himself off from his peers, Jacob has been working for this father for years, all on the promise that his payday will come eventually. The only joy he finds comes from reuniting with Maggie, his first love, and a girl clearly bound for bigger and better things than their hardscrabble town.
Jacob has always been resigned to play the cards that were dealt him, but when a fatal mistake changes everything, he s faced with a choice: stay and appease his father, or leave the mountains with the girl he loves. In a place where blood is thicker than water and hope takes a back seat to fate, Jacob wonders if he can muster the strength to rise above the only life he s ever known.)