Author: Gerry Fitzgerald
RedemptionMountain offers up a palette of emotions swirling around a small West Virginia coal mining town. With superb characters, corporate greed and its destruction, and townspeople that speak to us, Fitzgerald surmounts any stereotypes and hits a home run. Strong, visual, and breathtakingly romantic, Redemption Mountain places us inside Red Bone, a town despairing and lost, an Appalachian mining town whose men are unemployed and whose women are downtrodden. And there we meet Natty Oaks.
Charlie Burden is on the rise. A shining executive at a global engineering firm in New York, Charlie knows how to wheel and deal. And yet after 25 years he cannot seem to understand his life; he used to love being in the field and now he sits behind a desk making executive decisions. When his engineering firm sends him to Red Bone, a tiny town in West Virginia, to expedite their mountaintop-removal operations, Charlie engages with the townspeople, and learns about their lives and concerns. And then there is Natty Oaks, and her son Pie, a youngster with Down’s syndrome.
As Fitzgerald’s characters encounter their loves and fears, Charlie and Natty grow closer. Charlie understands that he cannot ruin yet another mountain because of corporate greed. He begins to understand that his marriage is an unhappy one. He finds comfort in the wilderness and townspeople of red Bone.
Natty begins to see that her abusive husband is not just abusive because of his plight: the lack of a job, the way his high school dreams eluded him; and she demands more of him for her son, Pie.
Both Natty and Charlie make courageous decisions in trying to save their mountain, and the novel ends in a whirlwind decision. Beautifully written, ecologically inspiring, and romantically compelling, this is a novel about right and wrong, in the many arenas of people’s lives.
Ratings are based on a 5-star scale
Review by Broad “A” – Ava
We received a copy of this title for our book review. All opinions are our own
Redemption Mountain: A Novel is available on Amazon.com and booksellers nationwide