You can count on Carter Taylor Seaton to tell a hell of a story, and indeed she has in this novel. The protagonist, AJ Porter, a widowed single mother, has never traveled beyond the borders of West Virginia until she inherits the 4,000 acre Langford Hall estate in Virginia. It is a place that hired its docent away from Monticello! The terms of the inheritance are that she must live there for a year or so, though the estate will cover her expenses both at her home and while living at Langford Hall. Does she still really dream of escaping Gimlet Hollow now that it is possible? What about her boyfriend, daughter and mother? Langford Hall is threatened by development, and Gimlet Hollow is threatened by fracking. Lots of fascinating plot lines are here to be resolved, and lots of outstanding writing to make the journey rewarding. “Carter Taylor Seaton tells this tale with grace and grit. This fast-paced novel will sweep you up in its lush detail, its close observation of characters, and its enduring love of the land and its people.” – Lee Martin. “Carter Taylor Seaton delights readers as she takes them with AJ on a richly-textured journey that explores insights about culture, class, race, and history.” Carter Taylor Seaton has brought us two previous novels, two distinguished non-fiction books, The Rebel in the Red Jeep about Congressman Ken Hechler and Hippie Homesteaders, plus a delightful children’s book, Me and MaryAnn. She lives in Huntington, West Virginia.
Virginia Beach, Virginia: Koehlerbooks, 2020. 262 pages. Trade paperback.