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Showing 1-10 of 29 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 51 reviews
on August 14, 2017
One of the most profoundly moving books I have EVER read. Witness the destruction of massive areas of WV over many years from the perspective of the people who live there and love and respect the land. No matter where you live, or what your position on mountaintop removal is, this book is a must-read in order to get a full picture. (Either that, or move there and live it.) Characters and events described so clearly you can feel them as if you are/were there. Poetic and brutal at the same time. In my 65 years, I have never had a book affect me as deeply as this. While I lament that it's likely too late to repair the damage done to the land; I pray it may be possible to stop any more.
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on July 22, 2017
One of the best books I've ever read, and the first book to begin to accurately record what it is to be young and female in Appalachia. This book will forever have a place on my bookshelf, and I hope it has a place on yours, as well. Thanks, Ann, for giving us a voice!
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on September 21, 2012
This novel should be a must-read for anyone who believes we can continue to get energy from "clean coal." Besides exposing the reality of mountaintop removal mining (which is incredibly destructive to both the land and the people of Appalachia), it is beautifully written and emotionally moving. You get caught up in caring about people and their lives. And these are the kind of people usually dismissed as "hillbillies" or "poor white trash." Their strength and courage, and the depth of their attachment to the land their families have lived on for generations, is both awesome and painful to behold. Because in the end everything beautiful in their lives is destroyed by greed. Yet they persevere. The descriptions of flash floods and other disasters are so vivid, I felt as if I had lived through them myself. Terrifyingly beautiful!
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on September 2, 2014
Very well written account of the disastrous mining practices in southern West Virginia, as well as a moving account of what the land means to many of its inhabitants. The structure takes some time to get used to, but the investment is worth it.
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on July 18, 2014
This book is a game-changer! She's a gifted writer who does a wonderful job of getting her message about mountaintop removal, and its devastating impact on the people of southern West Virginia, as well as the climate. She makes you really care!
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on April 30, 2012
I bought this novel for a class on Appalachian literature. It's extraordinarily beautiful and compelling, a haunting portrait of life under the strain of living with mountaintop removal. Unfortunately, the book that Amazon sent to me was missing the first 10 pages of the novel, as well any pages that come before the opening of the first chapter. While I loved the novel, I was disappointed in the quality of the product.
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on June 11, 2013
I had this book recommended to me by a fellow West Virginian. While I don't live in coal country I care deeply about my adopted state, her mountains and rugged people. Coal vs the environment , it isn't. It is complex and this story grips you with that complexity. Coal feeds the family and runs through the blood while it also rips the heart and the soul and the ground under your feet.
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on August 13, 2012
If no one knows of mountain top removal mining this is a must read. Spoken through voices of many characters including several children. Characters appear simple, but faced with a devastating circumstance you dive into their fears and their lives torn by turmoil they cannot control. I could not grasp the magnitude of this problem until I googled it. Hence, some photos in the book showing the devastation would have been profound.
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on December 8, 2013
The characters in this story are very realistic. I want to bring Dane to my house, and give him a much better life. I feel so bad for him. No child should be nervous like he is and live with so much stress. This story really brings out the horrors that mountain top mining does to our earth - the land, the people, the economy.
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on January 29, 2016
Life in a valley under a strip mining cesspool. A woman's struggle to survive and thrive in the narrow confines of geography and culture.
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