Daughter of the Mountain
From Sherry Parnell, author of Let The Willows Weep, comes a long-awaited new novel that unwinds a family’s darkest secrets and takes an unflinching look at life in the rural South.
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?