LET THE WILLOWS WEEP
Compared by readers to Dorothy Allison’s Bastard out of Carolina and the writing of Harper Lee and Truman Capote, Let the Willows Weep is a keenly observed and unflinching look at small-town life.
Birddog Harlin is at the heart of an increasingly fractured and dysfunctional family. Adored by her eldest brother and father, and facing constant tough love and disapproval from her mother, as Birddog grows from a girl to a woman she’ll navigate the struggles and indignations of daily life in poor, rural America. Still, while her hardscrabble life promises limited prospects, it is punctuated by moments of connection, kindness, and even love.
Focused on patterns of behavior that echo down generations, the grit required to keep moving forward, and the drive to rise beyond one’s circumstances, this heartbreaking novel shines a light on the push and pull of family, and the simple human desire for wider horizons.
DAUGHTER OF THE MOUNTAIN
A complex tale about two families, and three generations, linked by a web of secrets and injustice in the Appalachian Mountains, Daughter of the Mountain begins with a focus on Effie Bilfrey. She lives on land won in a poker game. The rundown shacks are also home to Piney Boyer, despite his father having lost the deed to Effie’s father, and who takes pleasure in tormenting her, and her growing daughter, Sarah. Having once accepted help from Piney, Effie knows she made a deal with the devil. Afraid Piney will make good on his threat to turn her in—after witnessing her kill a man who rapes her—Effie spends her life beholden to a man who takes what he wants and leaves little of worth behind.
Lottie longs to know more about her mother, Sarah, but her grandmother Effie refuses her the smallest of details. When hidden diaries come to light, Lottie reads her mother’s private thoughts and yearns to know more. But the passages from Sarah’s diary are also disturbing. As she learns more about her mother’s life, Lottie uncovers dark secrets—leading her to the question: why did her mother disappear?