First Published: Oct. 1, 2009
Publisher: Wordcraft of Oregon
Genre: dark noire, historical fiction, psychological drama
Near the top of North Mountain a tumbledown shed leaned against an old lightning-struck oak at the edge of a raggedy field.Acquired: Received a review copy from the book's publicist.
Reason for Reading: I actually like reading dark, gloomy noire novels with depressing themes and depressing ends. This sounded along those lines and promised a redemptive ending.
I have a 50-page rule that I give a book before deciding not to go any further and I made it to page 56 out of 260 before deciding this wasn't the book for me at this time. I had no problem with the writing or style, in fact, it is possible I might have come out of the book appreciating it. But by page 56, I had decided I just did not want to spend time with the ugliness of this story. I had no desire to pick it up and keep reading. The story centering around such topics as child abuse, incest, drug manufacturing and selling, little children bullies and the dark side of religion, the fire and brimstone, wrath of God-type of preaching was too much ugliness for me to settle down with and read at this time in my life.
As I always do with DNFs, now that you know why I didn't like it, here it the publisher's summary so you can decide for yourself:
From best-selling novelist Lauren B. Davis comes the deeply compassionate story of what happens when we view our neighbors as ‘The Other’ as well as the transcendent power of unlikely friendships.
The God-fearing townspeople of Gideon shun the Erskine Clan, who live on North Mountain, and ignore the rampant child abuse and violence. On the mountain, twenty-one-year old Albert Erskine dreams of a better and safer life. In town, young Ivy Evans is relentlessly bullied by her classmates. Though her father, Tom Evans, is a well-liked local, his troubled marriage to a restless outsider is a source of gossip. As rumors and innuendo about the Evans family spread, Ivy seeks refuge in Dorothy Carlisle, an independent-minded widow who runs a local antique store. When Albert ventures down from the mountain and seizes on the Evans' family crisis as an opportunity to befriend Ivy's vulnerable teenage brother Bobby it sets in motion a chain of events which will change everything. Inspired by a true story.