This Rock

Algonquin Books
4
Free sample

From the author of Gap Creek-an international best-seller and winner of the Southern Book Critics Circle Award-comes the gripping story of two brothers struggling against each other and the confines of their mountain world in 1920s Appalachia.

The Powell brothers-Muir and Moody-are as different as Cain and Abel. Muir is an innocent, a shy young man with big dreams. Moody, the older and wilder brother-embittered by the death of his father, by years of fighting his mother, and by his jealousy of Muir's place in the family-takes to moonshine and gambling and turns his anger on his brother. Muir escapes by wandering, making his way around the country in attempts to find something-an occupation, a calling-to match his ambition.

Through it all, their mother, Ginny, tries to steer her boys right, all the while remembering her own losses: her husband (whose touch still haunts her), her youth, and the fiery sense of God that once ordered her world.

When Muir, in a drunken vision, decides that his purpose in life is to clear a space on a hill and build a stone church with his own hands, the consequences of his plan are far-reaching and irrevocable: a community threatens to tear itself apart, men die, and his family is forever changed. All that's left in the aftermath are the ghosts and the memories of a new man.

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4.8
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Additional Information

Publisher
Algonquin Books
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Published on
Sep 28, 2001
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Pages
336
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ISBN
9781565128958
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Historical
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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THE BLOCKBUSTER HIT—A New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Publishers Weekly Bestseller

For readers of Orphan Train and The Nightingale comes a “thought-provoking [and] complex tale about two families, two generations apart . . . based on a notorious true-life scandal.”*

Memphis, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family’s Mississippi River shantyboat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in charge—until strangers arrive in force. Wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are assured that they will soon be returned to their parents—but they quickly realize the dark truth. At the mercy of the facility’s cruel director, Rill fights to keep her sisters and brother together in a world of danger and uncertainty.

Aiken, South Carolina, present day. Born into wealth and privilege, Avery Stafford seems to have it all: a successful career as a federal prosecutor, a handsome fiancé, and a lavish wedding on the horizon. But when Avery returns home to help her father weather a health crisis, a chance encounter leaves her with uncomfortable questions and compels her to take a journey through her family’s long-hidden history, on a path that will ultimately lead either to devastation or to redemption.

Based on one of America’s most notorious real-life scandals—in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country—Lisa Wingate’s riveting, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting tale reminds us how, even though the paths we take can lead to many places, the heart never forgets where we belong.

*Library Journal

If All Arkansas Read the Same Book Selection • Finalist for the Southern Book Prize • Publishers Weekly’s #3 Longest-Running Bestseller of 2017

“A [story] of a family lost and found . . . a poignant, engrossing tale about sibling love and the toll of secrets.” —People

“Sure to be one of the most compelling books you pick up this year. . . . Wingate is a master-storyteller, and you’ll find yourself pulled along as she reveals the wake of terror and heartache that is Georgia Tann’s legacy.” —Parade

“One of the year’s best books . . . It is impossible not to get swept up in this near-perfect novel.” —The Huffington Post
A “wondrous” novel of a marriage in the Appalachian Mountains, from the New York Times–bestselling author of Gap Creek (San Antonio Express-News).
 
Ginny and Tom have a lot in common—a love of the land, and fathers who fought in the Civil War. Tom’s father died, but Ginny’s father came back to western North Carolina to hold on to the farm and turn a profit. Ginny’s was a childhood of relative security, Tom’s one of landlessness. Truth be known—and they both know it—their marriage is mutually beneficial in purely practical terms. Tom wants land to call his own, and Ginny knows she can’t manage her aging father’s farm by herself.
 
But there is also mutual attraction, and a growing love as time passes. What keeps getting in the way of it, though, are their obsessions. Tom is a workaholic who hoards time and money. Ginny is obsessed by Pentecostal preaching. That she loses control of her dignity, that she speaks “in tongues,” that she is “saved,” seem to her a blessing and to Tom a disgrace. It’s not until Tom lies unconscious at the mercy of a disease for which the mountain doctor has no cure that Ginny’s truest pleasure comes into focus.
 
Named a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year, this novel by a winner of the Thomas Wolfe Prize is filled with “marvelously vivid imagery” and insight into the timeless truths of love and marriage (The New York Times Book Review).
 
“Morgan deeply understands these people and their world, and he writes about them with an authority usually associated with the great novelists of the last century . . . the book is astonishing.” —The Boston Book Review
 
“Simple, eloquent language . . . pulses with poetry.” —The Washington Post Book World
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