A heartbreaking tale of religion, love, poverty and hard choices in the South. Gracie's upbringing by a religious charlatan destines her to make difficult and often damaging life choices as she searches for meaning for her own life.
A great read. It left me wanting to know more. Anyone interested in religious groups of the South, complete with snake handlers, spiritual dancing, tongues, etc., will enjoy this book.
WOW, what voice Lee Smith has!! She totally caught me in the first paragraph...'My name is Florida Grace Shepherd, Florida for the state I was born in, Grace for the grace of God. I am the eleventh child of Reverend Virgil Shepherd........I am and always have been contentious and ornery, full of fear and doubt in a family of believers." THis book contains some insight into the famous "snake handler" group found in the deep Appalachian Mountains. If this topic interests you and you love a Southern "voice".....read it!!
I wasn't familiar with this author, but this book made me a fan. It is a wonderful story of the South and a woman you won't easily forget.
A traveling holy roller preacher with a box of poisonous snakes in the back of his old Studebaker loaded down with his 3rd wife and bunch of kids get the story started with the Studebaker slinging a rod just north of the Georgia line and South of Waynesville, NC. He proclaims himself to be a old time gospel healer, laying hands on the sinners and another part of his anatomy on the women he meets in the cinder block churches where they will let him preach. Yep, plenty of old time preaching mixed with guitars and drums plus snake handling, drinking strychnine, burning a halo on the top of his head draws a crowd everywhere he goes, but his drinking and "hooring" gets him and his family kicked out one church after another. Mix in some washing of snakes, suicide by hanging, raising the dead, drunks fighting at the big bush arbor homecoming meeting, locked up in county jail, paying off the mama's of the young girls the preacher knocks up, and you will find one even old Harry Crews would rise from the dead to enjoy.