In January of 1863 a Confederate regiment in the Shelton Laurel Valley of Madison County, North Carolina, not far from the Tennessee line, executed 13 accused Union sympathizers. The protagonist of this book, Travis Shelton, is seventeen when he discovers a huge marijuana crop in the Madison County woods of the Sheldon Laurel Valley and then steps into a bear trap. Does the violence of the past inhabit this Valley? “Finely wrought . . . Vivid.” ―Publishers Weekly. “An intellectually satisfying work of suspense . . . Reminds us of the sort of compelling literature a brave artist can fashion from the shards of such experience.” ―Los Angeles Times. “A superb tale of redemption and healing . . . Vividly enriched by clear, concise prose . . . A beautifully rendered palimpsest.” ―BookPage. This novel was made into a full length independent film that was very well received. Ron Rash teaches at Western Carolina University and is clearly one of the most distinguished contemporary Appalachian authors.
New York: Henry Holt, 2006. 304 pages. Hardback in dust jacket.