Mary Call Luther struggles to keep her family together in North Carolina's Great Smokey Mountains after the deaths of her parents. As he lay dying, her father made her promise to look after her batty but sweet older sister Devola and younger sisters Romey and Ima Dean. She also had to fufill several conditions. First, she was not to call a preacher or an undertaker when he died. She was to wrap him in a sheet and bury him on the mountain. Second, she was to always take pride in the name of Luther and instill that pride in her sisters. Third, she was to do her utmost to keep the family together and not accept charity. Fourth, she was always to keep Devola with her and treat her kindly and never, under any circumstances allow her to marry their hillbilly neighbor Kiser Pease.
Though Mary Call does her utmost to fulfill her promises, hardships settled on thick and fast. People insisted on seeing her father and seemed suspicious of his absence. Money was tight, and the Luthers had to work long hours in the mountains to get any money at all. Winter came with vengeance, and the roof of the house partially collapsed from the weight of the snow. Finally, the Luthers were told they had two weeks to leave their home. At this point, Mary Call finally admitted that she could not continue to battle and found help from a surprising source.
This report prepared by Katherine Brooks