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Allegheny Odyssey by L. Cooper

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Conflict of interest disclosure: Linda Cooper was one of my Berea College student workers when I was manager of the Appalachian Book and Record Shop for the Council of the Southern Mountains in 1979, and she was married for quite a while to a friend of mine. She grew up in West Virginia’s beautiful Canaan Valley before it was discovered by very many tourists and moved easily from being a social worker to becoming an administrator and grant-writer for social service programs and environmental groups.  She now manages her Canaan Valley home as a bed and breakfast while living with her daughter in Alaska. Cooper’s novel is an exciting, funny, and suspenseful romp through West Virginia with a young woman who is fleeing her ex-husband with enough lottery winnings to do good deeds and not have financial worries. Even if you don’t love West Virginia or connect with the particular festivals, parks, and other points of interest that the protagonist, Laurie, cavorts through, this may easily be a delightful fictional ride for you.

Anchorage, Alaska: self-published, 2018. 255 pages. Trade paperback