A story largely set in December 1941, in an Alabama coal mining community. Covington sets the scene with skill as she takes us through the reformation of a drunk, the maturation of a 19yo boy, and the appreciation of the town's whore through a wedding, a mining accident, and a birth.
From Publishers Weekly
Covington ( Gathering Home ) uses a shared crisis to dramatize forgiveness in this multifaceted, absorbing tale, set in an Alabama mining town in December 1941. Pearl Harbor doesn't yet mean much to just-married 19-year-old Keller Hayes--he's far more worried that Bolivia, the local prostitute, will tell the townspeople that the child she's carrying is his, or that his father-in-law, Scotty, a mean drunk, will carry out his threat to shoot him. On Christmas Eve, when a mine wall collapses, trapping several men, Keller's fears shift to his father, a miner. Bolivia then becomes Keller's comforter rather than his enemy, and Scotty forsakes hatred for fellowship, discovering that he can go without a drink. The narrative centers on the three grim, suspenseful winter days during which the miners are caught below ground while their friends and families wait helplessly above. Although personality changes--such as Scotty's transformation from hillbilly alcoholic to concerned citizen--are implausibly sudden, Covington's deeply etched characters inspire readers' affection. The deftly paced, lyrical narrative is made all the more affecting by the looming shadow of WW II.
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