About The Book:
Where the Crawdads Sing meets The Four Winds as award-winning author Donna Everhart’s latest novel immerses readers in its unique setting—the turpentine camps and pine forests of the American South during the Great Depression—for a captivating story of friendship, survival, and three vagabonds’ intersecting lives.
It takes courage to save yourself…
Few writers evoke the complexities of the heart and the gritty fascination of the American South as vividly as Donna Everhart, whose lyrical new novel, set against the background of the Great Depression, is a powerful story of courage, survival, and friendship…
In the dense pine forests of North Carolina, turpentiners labor, hacking into tree trunks to draw out the sticky sap that gives the Tar Heel State its nickname, and hauling the resin to stills to be refined. Among them is Rae Lynn Cobb and her husband, Warren, who run a small turpentine farm together.
Though the work is hard and often dangerous, Rae Lynn, who spent her childhood in an orphanage, is thankful for it—and for her kind if careless husband. When Warren falls victim to his own negligence, Rae Lynn undertakes a desperate act of mercy. To keep herself from jail, she disguises herself as a man named “Ray” and heads to the only place she can think of that might offer anonymity—a turpentine camp in Georgia named Swallow Hill.
Swallow Hill is no easy haven. The camp is isolated and squalid, and commissary owner Otis Riddle takes out his frustrations on his browbeaten wife, Cornelia. Although Rae Lynn works tirelessly, she becomes a target for Crow, the ever-watchful woods rider who checks each laborer’s tally. Delwood Reese, who’s come to Swallow Hill hoping for his own redemption, offers “Ray” a small measure of protection, and is determined to improve their conditions. As Rae Lynn forges a deeper friendship with both Del and Cornelia, she begins to envision a path out of the camp. But she will have to come to terms with her past, with all its pain and beauty, before she can open herself to a new life and seize the chance to begin again.
Rae Lynn and her husband, Warren, are struggling to make a living from their turpentine farm. It is hard and dangerous work. Warren has a terrible accident and Rae Lynn has to put him out of his misery. When she is witnessed in this act she realizes she has to run for it. She disguises herself as a man and heads to the nearest turpentine camp. This is work she knows and understands. But she soon realizes this camp is more dangerous than the work itself.
Rae Lynn is a tough, tough woman. If it had not been for Del, Swallow Hill might have been the end of her. Del is another camp member. He actually moves up in the ranks and becomes a boss. But he knows something is not right with Rae Lynn. He looks out for her and tries to protect her the best he can.
I can honestly say I have never read a book about a turpentine camp. This is a story which is hard to read in places. I would have to put it down and catch my breath a minute. Life at Swallow Hill is tough and life threatening. The conditions of squalor and the hard work, add in beatings and “the box”, and it is unbearable! This is a tale everyone needs to read and experience. Just to remind you how easy life is now compared to then.
Need a story you will not soon forget…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today!
I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.
About the Author
Donna Everhart is a USA Today bestselling author who writes stories of family hardship and troubled times in a bygone south. A native of North Carolina, she resides in her home state with her husband and their tiny heart stealing Yorkshire terrier, Mister.
Readers can also visit her at www.donnaeverhart.com.