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For readers of Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier and Enemy Women by Paulette Jiles, an evocative, morally complex novel set in rural 19th century North Carolina, as one woman fights to keep her family united, her farm running, and her convictions whole during the most devastating and divisive period in American history.
Talk of impending war is a steady drumbeat throughout North Carolina, though Joetta McBride pays it little heed. She and her husband, Ennis, have built a modest but happy life for themselves, raising two sons, fifteen-year-old Henry, and eleven-year-old Robert, on their small subsistence farm. They do not support the Confederacy’s position on slavery, but Joetta considers her family to be neutral, believing this is simply not their fight.
Her opinion is not favored by many in their community, including Joetta’s own father-in-law, Rudean. A staunch Confederate supporter, he fills his grandsons’ heads with stories about the glory of battle and the Southern cause until one night Henry runs off to join the war. At Joetta’s frantic insistence, Ennis leaves to find their son and bring him home.
But soon weeks pass with no word from father or son and Joetta is battered by the strain of running a farm with so little help. As the country becomes further entangled in the ramifications of war, Joetta finds herself increasingly at odds with those around her – until one act of kindness brings her family to the edge of even greater disaster.
Though shunned and struggling to survive, Joetta remains committed to her principles, and to her belief that her family will survive. But the greatest tests are still to come – for a fractured nation, for Joetta, and for those she loves . . .
About the Author
Donna Everhart is a USA Today bestselling author known for vividly evoking the complexities of the heart and a gritty fascination of the American South in her acclaimed novels. She is the recipient of the prestigious SELA Outstanding Southeastern Author Award from the Southeastern Library Association and her novels have received a SIBA Okra Pick, an Indie Next Pick, and two Publishers Marketplace Buzz Books selections. Born and raised in Raleigh, she has stayed close to her hometown for much of her life and now lives just an hour away in Dunn, North Carolina. Please visit Donna Everhart online at DonnaEverhart.com.
Praise for Donna Everhart
“The distinctive setting of the turpentine camps in the South during the Great Depression will make an imprint on readers, just as the characters of Rae Lynn and Del do. Fans of Sarah Addison Allen won't be able to put it down.” – Booklist on The Saints of Swallow Hill
"Rousing...movingly explores Jessie's struggle with her eating disorder, viscerally describing her twin desires for nourishment and purging in relation to a deep need to define herself...Everhart's story of self-discovery, rife with colorful characters and a satisfying twist, will thrill readers." – Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW for The Moonshiner's Daughter “In a powerful coming‑of‑age story that pitches southern charm against dark family secrets, the voice of 11‑year‑old Dixie Dupree captivates from the first page to the last.” – Barbara Claypole White, bestselling author of The Perfect Son on The Education of Dixie Dupree "This story of survival and perseverance is heartbreaking and hard, but the ways the characters in the book choose family and hope lead them on paths they would never expect…Everhart creates a signature style by writing in the voice of the main character, a young Southern girl, telling the story from her perspective. Her voice remains true throughout the novel, successfully engaging the reader." – The Missourian on The Road to Bittersweet
"Everhart is a good storyteller and makes her characters and their experiences come alive." – Booklist on The Road to Bittersweet
"An adventure story and coming-of-age story wrapped into one satisfying package... Donna Everhart skillfully evokes a harsh landscape and harsh times, squarely placing the reader in Appalachia right along with the family. Wallis Ann's complicated relationship with her sister is well explored and serves as a catalyst for her growth into a mature young woman." – Historical Novels Review on The Road to Bittersweet