In this semi-autobiogragical novel, we meet a young man named Clay. He works as a coal miner. Other characters include his best friend Cake and a cousin, Dreama along with assorted other relatives.
It is a sensitive picture of a place foreign to many Americans and describes a way of life that is vanishing rapidly.
Clay's struggles to accept his mother's early and violent death war with his desire to live and to find love. He seeks to be released from the multi generational history he has in his home area but yet he glories in it. The book ends with Clay building a house near that of his family, newly married, and eager to begin life - a life he will build on his terms.
This report prepared by Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy