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BOOK REVIEW: THE KILLING TREE
BY RACHEL KEENER
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At first glance, this fictional novel is about 18 year old Mercy Heron, who is being raised by her colorful grandmother and her over-bearing Deacon Grandfather on Crooked Top Mountain in Appalachia. Her life has been less than idyllic and the author could have stopped there, content to simply tell Mercy's story.
Thankfully for the reader, the author weaves in bits and pieces of Mercy's childhood memories with those of present day events, helping the reader to better understand Mercy and those around her. It does not take long before the reader feels as though they are right there with Mercy, deep in Appalachia, smelling the pulled pork or tasting the cold stream water.
With fluid lyrical prose Rachel Keener brings the reader to Crook Top Mountain where she creatively engages the reader in the lives of Mercy Heron and those around her. The reader is introduced to Mercy's grandfather, Father Heron, a man to be admired or feared, possibly a martyr. Mercy's grandmother, Mamma Rutha, is she as crazy as some believe or is there more to the story, the reader must decide. Finally, Della, Mercy's long time friend, confidant, and mentor and how these three character's lives intermingle, dare I say dance with one another as other characters are added to this engaging and deeply emotional story.
From the first page the reader is drawn deep into Appalachia to places were many have never been. The Author takes great care to bring to life each character, making certain the reader will not want to stop turning the pages and wishing at the end, for the novel to continue it's song.
REVIEWED BY JENNIFER HIGGINS
DO NOT REPRINT
WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE REVIEWER, JENNIFER HIGGINS
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