Friday, January 13, 2017

The Secret Wisdom of the Earth by Christopher Scotton

4 Stars

“Evil doesn’t have to be loud, son. In fact, it reserves that for the merely boorish. Evil is quiet, stealthy – it sneaks up on you, smiles, and pats you on the back while pissing down your leg.”

Let me tell you the tale of how this ended up on my TBR. It was a cold and snowy New Year’s and the family was all in the reading room to make as much noise as possible in order to distract me from my ‘puter watch me churn out one of my super professional book reviews when my husband (the non-reader) began pelting me with “Have You Read [fill in name of book]???” questions. After the fourth title (two of which were quality reads of mine last year and two of which I had never heard of) I asked where the eff he was getting these selections. He then informed me it was his co-worker’s “Best Reads Of 2016” Facebook post. Recognizing that two of the choices came from my own brilliant mind I thought I should take his other two suggestions seriously as we appear to have the same taste and asked my husband to repeat the titles – which I then looked up on Goodreads. The only thing I saw when The Secret Wisdom of the Earth blurb came up was APPALACHIA and I was all . . . . . .

Which led my husband to have a “You Serious, Clark?” moment. Yep. Dead serious. I’m a cheap sell.

Now that that overshare is over, let’s talk about the book . . . .

“Heard your momma’s gone crazy cause your little brother died,” he said, looking hard at me.

“She’s taking it kind of bad.”

That’s the reason young Kevin and his mother are spending the summer with his granddad Pops. The rest of the story is a mix of a coming of age tale in the spirit of Harper Lee where Kevin learns that unfortunately people don’t always believe that . . . .

With a little Jack London, Bill Bryson and just a hint of Barbara Kingsolver’s eco-warrior thrown in for good measure.

Since I’m not a fan of humans, I don’t even know the name of my husband’s co-worker, but I owe him a thank you. I would have never heard of this book were it not for his recommendation and that would have been unfortunate because . . . .

Note to everyone with normal human emotions: This one is a real gut-wrencher. We’re talking a brutal accidental death and a hate crime and black lung and poverty and abuse and everything else that’s wrong with the universe that might make you have the feelz. You’ve been warned.

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