One of the most dynamic and innovative programs of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's "New Deal" was his program of establishing communities made up of small homesteads with enough land so that residents could grow most of their own food. Arguably the most famous is Arthurdale, near Morgantown, and close enough to enjoy several visits from Eleanor Roosevelt. The homesteads created just south of Crossville, Tennessee, were built with the signature Crab Orchard Stone quarried nearby, so the houses can still mostly be detected, although several have been remodeled more than once since the 1930s, and some of the property has since been split up so other buildings are now mixed in. The author of this novel actually grew up in Cumberland Homesteads. Her family was one of several who moved there from Wilder, Tennessee, whose mines closed down after a tumultuous strike which resulted in the leader of the miners, Barney Graham, being shot to death by company goons on the steps of the company store on April 30, 1933. Loletta Clouse graduated from Cumberland County High School and Tennessee Tech in nearby Cookeville and then got a masters in library science from Peabody in Nashville. She enjoyed a twenty-five year career with the Knox County Library system. Her first novel was Wilder. This was her second novel.
Knoxville: Tennessee Valley, 2002. 282 pages. Trade paperback.