This is the first novel by Mary Bozeman Hodges, following two short story collections. She is the daughter of an East Tennessee zinc miner who grew up and currently lives in Jefferson City, Tennessee. This novel is a coming-of-age story about Moss McCullen. It begins about the time of the First World War on the day that Moss’s father is killed in an explosion in the zinc mines while his mother is giving birth. “Deep in the Earth is a classic story of a boy trying to take his father's place and live his father's dream, only to be caught in the same web of classism and racism that marred his parents' lives. In authentic voices from a place she understands deeply, Mary Hodges explores the complexity of life in the zinc mines of the Mountain South as extractive industry takes hold.” -- George Ella Lyon. “Deep in the Earth is not only a passionate love story but also a detailed picture of work in the mines and life in this small town where class and race determine many fates. You will find yourself deeply involved in these lives and loves. Deep in the Earth is that rarity--a literary page-turner.” -- Lee Smith.
Jefferson City, Tennessee: Sapling Grove Press, 2018. 305 pages. Trade paperback.