"This book moved me in ways that I find hard to explain in this review. The only thing I can compare it to is another book I read that also moved me in ways I couldn't explain - Night Road by Kristin Hannah. Ms. Cooper's writing is rich and descriptive; you can see and feel what the characters see and feel." - Amazon.com Reviewer ButtonsMom2003
"Oh wow...I just finished and am sitting here stunned by the depth of this story...I have had so many emotions rung out of me by these characters. Ms. Cooper's ability to capture so many characters individuality is storytelling at its best and says much about her talent as a writer!" - Amazon.com Reviewer S. Schwartz
"One of those sit down and read it until it's done kind of books that takes you through the life of a young woman who gave up her true love to help her sister through a tragedy. You will be pulled into the story and find yourself rooting for the characters as they all face the consequences of decisions made 18 years ago. Life and love always find a way." - Amazon.com Reviewer K. White
From the Author
This story is set in a fictionalized version of Franklin County, the county where I grew up in southwest Virginia. Some of the early settlers to the county were members of the Old Order German Baptist Brethren, who for generations, have made a life of simplicity a priority.
Brethren homes and farms are scattered throughout the county, but members of the Old Order church are easily distinguished from other citizens by their clothing, a symbol of their faith.
Women wear the traditional plain dress with a cape attached at the shoulders. Their long hair is secured in a bun and covered by a white or black bonnet. Men often have long beards. Some live among other members of the community without making use of modern conveniences such as television, radio and computer. Others have moved away from some of these more strict practices.
Like the county that inspired it, my fictional town of Ballard represents an interlocking blend of farms and industry, Super retailers and Main Street renewal. It is a place caught in a visible struggle between past and present.
Maybe this is a universal struggle, one that doesn't limit itself to a place, but applies to the lives of its people as well. The present, after all, cannot exist without its past. The two are inextricably tied, a circle that must eventually find its point of completion. For my characters here, raised in a county of like and different, the ends of the circle are about to connect, the ensuing collision forever altering the journey of those on its path.