The Secret Wisdom of the Earth Author:Chris Scotton After witnessing the death of his younger brother in a terrible home accident, 14-year-old Kevin and his grieving mother are sent for the summer to live with Kevin's grandfather. In this peeled-paint coal town deep in Appalachia, Kevin quickly falls in with a half-wild hollow kid named Buzzy Fink who schools him in the mysteries and magnificence... more » of the woods. The events of this fateful summer will affect the entire town of Medgar, Kentucky.
Medgar is beset by a massive Mountaintop Removal operation that is blowing up the hills and back filling the hollows. Kevin's grandfather and others in town attempt to rally the citizens against the 'company' and its powerful owner to stop the plunder of their mountain heritage. When Buzzy witnesses the brutal murder of the opposition leader, a sequence is set in play which tests Buzzy and Kevin to their absolute limits in an epic struggle for survival in the Kentucky mountains.
Redemptive and emotionally resonant, The Secret Wisdom of the Earth is narrated by an adult Kevin looking back on the summer when he sloughed the coverings of a boy and took his first faltering steps as a man among a rich cast of characters and an ambitious effort to reclaim a once great community.« less
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This multi-layered debut novel is set deep in the Appalachian Mountains when a grieving woman and her adolescent son return to her childhood home. They are suffering an inconsolable loss and return in the hope that time and the compassionate wisdom of their family, particularly Pops, will provide healing. The Secret Wisdom of the Earth is replete with the politics involved with mining the coal in the mountains and a homophobia that results in violence. Tensions in the community are rampant as we also watch the private dramas unfolding within the family. I found the book to be somewhat tedious in parts and rushed at the end. I am grateful to Goodreads and the Hatchette Book Group for the opportunity to review this book.