DUE IN MAY: In skillful prose, Amy Jo Burns tells a compelling tale of life and death in Appalachia. Her novel Shiner is populated by characters bound inextricably to their mountain and to each other. They live secluded on the mountain through choices and decisions made long ago. Miracles, venomous snakes, passions, faith, deceptions, and the mountain itself all play their roles in the lives of Burns’s complex characters. Their stories unfold in often surprising twists that will draw you in and keep you reading late into the night and continuing to think about them long after you put the book down. Recommended by Nancy
“This intricate novel is [a] wrenching testament, told in language as incandescent as smoldering coal. . . This is not a despairing book, but a hopeful one, of Appalachian women taking back their life stories from hoggish men whose power, both in the home and outside of it, is largely an illusion.