Deep in the mountains of Appalachia, Billy May Platte learned the hard way that 1940s West Virginia was no place to be gay:
"We was sheltered in them hills. We didn't know much of nothin' about life outside of them mountains. I did not know the word lesbian; to us, gay meant havin' fun and queer meant somethin' strange."'
In 1945, when Billy May was 14 years old and alone, three local boys witnessed an incident in which Billy May's sexuality was called into question. Determined to teach her a lesson she would never forget, they orchestrated a brutal attack that changed the dynamics of the tiny coal mining village of Cedar Hollow, West Virginia forever.
Thirty years after the brutal attack, living in solitude on top of Crutcher Mountain, Billy May discovers the hideout of a young girl - a girl who just happens to be the daughter of one of the boys who attacked Billy May so long ago. No one knows better than Billy May the telltale signs of abuse, and she must quickly make a decision. Will she withdraw into the solitude in which she has lived since the horrific attack, or will she risk everything to save the girl from a similar fate? In spite of the heartbreaking incidents that take place in the novel, the book is ultimately a tribute to the resiliency of the human spirit and a celebration of the beauty of second chances.
Underneath it all, Appalachian Justice is also a powerful love story, though certainly not a conventional one.
©2010 Melinda Clayton (P)2013 Melinda Clayton
This is NOT your average lesbian story. It is much deeper and meatier than most stories out there. There is no 'typical' girl meets girl, a dance ensues and finally they get together. This is the view of one woman's life in a time and place where being gay was frankly awful, so don't expect the basic love story that seems to have flooded the lesbian market, but you won't be disappointed if you take a chance on the book.
A word of warning though. If you have issues with a history of abuse, especially CSA, then this story could be VERY triggering in places.
That aside, if you can deal with the subject matter, then this is a story that tugs at the heartstrings right until the end.
I wasn't sure how I would find the story dipping between three main periods in history. In fact it works out well, and doesn't become confusing to the listener.
This is a superb story, well written with a good understanding of the aftermath of childhood abuse. The narrator does a good job, especially as she has to deal with local dialects and word usage. As somebody who comes from a place where there is a deep pride with our own local dialect I am always fascinated by word use in other places. Don't mistake dialect in the story for poor grammar, it is not the same thing. In fact, it takes a skilled author to work dialect into a story so well.
If this isn't a triggering subject matter, then take the time to listen.
This story is certainly near the top of my favourite list, if not at the number one position.
"Backwoods and Backwards are Two Different things!!"
Here's their story.
Hard to say without giving away story line. I wish I could have heard more about the Polly character though.
Lee delivers the presence of a mountain person without making any of them sound ignorant (except for the ones that ARE ignorant!).
Actually I did listen to it in one sitting, one a day of travel! The stories move between characters and make you feel that you are mixing it up quite a bit. If you are going on a long car ride or several planes, this would be a perfect read!
This book was a recommendation from a friend and I am so grateful for it!
"Loved this book."
I'll start with the fact that I cried practically thru the entire book. The level of violence against these women broke my heart. It's very tough to listen to. But the story is beautiful .
Loved the story . She got way of life right on . Billie Mae was a great character .
"One of the best books I've listened to this year."
When she almost died prior to Jessie's arrival.
Her accent was spot on for the setting of this book. It truely, brought the story to life.
The main character is a person I would like to be. Kind, compassionate with out being sugary sweet. But there are so many other's who also where great. The store keeper, the best friend. The nurse Starlett. This is a must read or listen book.
I finished this book in tears. I didn't want it to end and felt I was loosing friends. I sent a face book friend request to the author so that I might inquire about future books. She is so real and kind. I bought this audio at a special price and feel like I stole the best listen I've had this year
"This book could have been amazing."
Usually I say that a book could have been shorter, but this one should have been much longer. I think with more character development and exposition as well as more in-depth storylines, it could have been amazing. This was a difficult book to read (the tragedies that happened to the women of the book), but I feel stronger having read it.
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