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Misery on the Mountain Paperback – Dec 1 1999
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From the Publisher
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
C.J. Henderson was born on Christmas Day. Her father, a coal miner, was a storyteller who kept his listeners spellbound. Raised on stories about C.C. Camp, Ponds Murder Farm, and other fearsome tales that came straight from her father's mind C.J. began telling her friends stories of her own, oftentimes getting into trouble for frightening the other children.
After high school C.J. married and became the mother of two sons. During the marriage she attended college, and at her father's urging, studied real estate and became an agent. The knowledge gained from her real estate career led to a position with a utility company in which she leased property. That work took her into the remote mountainous areas of West Virginia, where she met many colorful characters. Often C.J. had to wait in her car for property owners to show up for appointments. As she waited, appointment by appointment, the novel came alive on her legal pad.
C.J. is now a real estate broker operating her own company and working on more novels.
Top Customer Reviews
Not only am I am a West Virginian, but I am also an Appalachian
historian and avid reader of historical fiction. I met the author and bought her book. I couldn't wait to get home and begin reading.
The book made me ill and angry. The author used nearly all of the stereotypical images of Appalachians in writing this novel.
Evidently she used this tactic to create a sensationalistic piece of literature, and I use the term loosely, to sell books. Not only is this a disservice to the people of the region, but it is also a disservice to her readers. The story is barely believable.
In spite of this, she has probably succeeded, because the American public loves sensationalism, not to mention making fun of hillbillies.
There are so many wonderful writers who place their stories in Appalachia. Their characters reflect the true spirit of its people, who are, and always have been, like most Americans, especially those in rural areas and of the working class.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The basic plot is that a man from the mountains keeps a cabin full of "wives" to produce children for him to sell. He makes a decent profit from this and has an apartment in the city, where he lives in relative comfort. Our heroine, Tuesday, is unfortunate enough to meet this man, who later takes a liking to her and decides to kidnap her and take her to the cabin, where he intends to make her one of his wives.
I have both good and bad things to say of this book. First, the bad, because that's how I roll. Essentially, the plot makes it way to the predictable conclusion through a series of really dumb blunders on the part of our heroine. Although these happenings are reflected upon later by her as she considers her poor judgment, they are all too frequent to be ignored and wind up being downright irritating. There are only so many times a reader can put up with the old "the search missed them by a few seconds" routine.
Also, the dialouge within the book was a bit stiff sometimes and unreal seeming, not to mention there are frequent occurances of the "one person monologue" as a character contemplates things right out loud to themselves. Had these things been conveyed by the characters in thought process, it would have been a lot less disconcerting.
One other note was the progression of the story seemed very unnatural to me. In parts it seemed to move forward very quickly, and the author jumps to a new perspective in every chapter, leaving only just enough time to re-immerse yourself in one story before being chucked right into another.
Other than that, however, I have to say I did enjoy reading this book. The plot had a lot of potential and I believe the author pulled it off, if just barely. One thing I do really want to commend her on was the character development. The different characters really shine through in their distinctness, which for me really made the novel.
So in short, through the clunky progression of the story, sometimes unrealistic dialouge and memorable characters, it made for an entertaining if short read. With another free afternoon, I might even consider picking up the next one.