Fabulous Fiction Firsts #63

North Carolina's Cataloochee valley is the setting for its native son Wayne Caldwell's much prasied debut novel.

Caldwell recounts a century of history, families, loves, deaths, dreams and disappointments among the citizens of this tiny isolated community forgotten by time, until the 1920s when the United States government marched in to create the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The loss of land brought on devastating and deadly effects, not surprising since these mountain folks have always regarding bearing arms as an inalienable right and liquoring up as a way of life.

Quietly observant and respectful of his characters, flaw and all, Caldwell has penned an engaging and deeply moving novel while bringing a small slice of Appalachia to life. A readalike for Sharyn MCCrumb's Ghost Riders and Charles Frazier's Thirteen Moons.