There is no doubt about it. Sharyn McCrumb is a highly gifted author and this book proves that yet again. She has an incredible sense of voice and feeling. In relating the issues of poverty and environmental concerns, her lyrical (for lack of a better word) descriptions of the settings ring strong and clear. In reading this work, as with her other "Ballad" books, one feels almost transported to the places she describes. Sharyn McCrumb does an exceptional job of intwining the social horrors of poverty and pollution with the gentle beauty of the mountains. It is her voice, as clear as a bell, as soothing as a bird song that makes this book so darn good.
Her characters are all richly drawn and given fresh, literary life. Her sense of dialog is outstanding and there is nothing extraneous in her work. Sharyn McCrumb is here to stay.