About the book:
In the Hazel Creek Valley of the Great Smoky Mountains, Nathan and Callie Randolph, with their five unique daughters, wrestle to maintain their farm, forests, family, and faith against an unforgiving wilderness. An evil lumber company manager is seeking by every means possible to pilfer their land and clear-cut their virgin forest.
A cast of colorful characters, including a menacing stranger, gypsy siblings, a granny midwife, and a world-famous writer—even a flesh-and-blood Haint—collide in a gripping struggle of good and evil amid eruptions of violence and tragedy. Our heroine, fifteen-year-old Abbie Randolph, has to help save her family’s farm and raise her sisters while preserving her faith.
This important story, based on almost ten years of research and four years of living in the area, captures the speech, ways, and beliefs of these unique pioneers at a crucial and irreversible turning point in this Smoky Mountains community of the Southern Appalachians. With the march of the industrial age, especially commercial lumbering, the traditional life and ways of our southern highlanders in general, and the Randolphs in particular, were about to change forever.
My review of Hazel Creek:
Wow, Walt Larimore, an author after my own heart. I have not read his Bryson City Series, but after reading Hazel Creek, I think I may need to make time to read it. I really liked this book. It did take me a little bit of time to get into the story and get used to the writing style and the authentic use of the language of the time and place of the story. Once I did though, this story flowed quite nicely. The short chapters helped out too, I love a book with short chapters.
The book description says that this story is based on almost ten years of research and a few years of living in the actual area where the story takes place. That is evident in this story and the book would not have been the same without it. I loved the attention to detail and the authenticity of the characters and the landscape. Added into all of that is a story full of drama, but not too much to make the story feel too overwhelming.
After reading Hazel Creek, I am most definitely going to read the rest of this series and spend more time in Hazel Creek with the Randolph family. I highly recommend this book.
This book was provided for review by Howard Books.