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GodPretty in the Tobacco Field Kindle Edition
A rural Kentucky teenager comes of age in the summer of 1969 in this novel by the New York Times–bestselling author of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek.
Nameless, Kentucky, in 1969 is a hardscrabble community where jobs are few and poverty is a simple fact—just like the hot Appalachian breeze or the pests that can destroy a tobacco field. RubyLyn Bishop is luckier than some. Her God-fearing uncle, Gunnar, has a short fuse and high expectations, but he’s given her a good home ever since she was orphaned at the age of five. Yet now a month shy of her sixteenth birthday, RubyLyn itches for more.
Maybe it’s something to do with the paper fortunetellers RubyLyn has been making for townsfolk, each covered with beautifully wrought, prophetic drawings. Or perhaps it’s because of Rainey Ford, her black neighbor who works alongside her in the tobacco field and with whom she has a kinship—despite the disapproval of others.
“A voice rich and authentic, steeped in the somber beauty that defines life in the South.”—David Joy, author of When These Mountains Burn
“Richardson’s brilliant writing made me feel as though I were transported back in time…and actually there witnessing this poignant heartfelt story.”—Charles Belfoure, New York Times–bestselling author of The Fallen Architect
“A reader always recognizes when the author has poured her soul into a body of work. [This] is a tender, beautifully written second novel.”—Ann Hite, author of the Black Mountain series
"Richardson's deft second novel paints a picture of hard life and bright dreams...Richardson's skill fully develops RubyLyn's plight." -Publishers Weekly
"Setting is everything...The reader learns a great deal about the impact of President Johnson's War on Poverty in rural Kentucky and, equally, about the place of women in that society in the late 60's...Sympathetic characters whom readers will wish a happy ending." -Booklist
"Kim Michele Richardson aptly portrays the impoverished life of the hill people with her images of the beauty yet hardship of the mountains as well as the way this particular world experienced discrimination in the sixties." -The New York Journal of Books
"Filled with the music of Appalachia, the wrath-of-God discipline of a sinner trying to keep a youngster on the straight and narrow, and the bred-in-the-bone dignity of a downtrodden community so secluded that its barefoot children don't even realize they're considered "poor,"GodPretty in the Tobacco Field, a memorable story of secrets and scandal, reckoning and redemption, is fine Southern fiction." -Historical Novels Review
"A powerful coming-of-age story...Ms. Richardson's portrait of the neighboring families' hopeless lives (one family is ready to sell a child to get out of debt) stands out as one of the book's major achievements. That achievement includes pitch-perfect representation of speech patterns and finely detailed views of the homes, the clothing, the food on the table, the family heirlooms, the body language, the facial expressions...This beautifully textured novel raises many challenges for its main characters to overcome and, as it comes to a close, many surprises. Saying any more would ruin it for you." -Southern Literary Review
"Richardson's latest contains beautifully drawn characters and honest, lyrical language. Through the author's expressive dialogue and vivid descriptions, the textures of the rural Kentucky landscape--along with the aching emotions that come from RubyLyn, are felt. RubyLyn's connection with Rainey is sweet, poignant, and tender. This powerful story will leave an impression on readers long after they complete it" -RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars
"A great piece of work." -Bill Burton, Host of "Morning Edition" on WFPL"
About the Author
- ASIN : B0138NHFSU
- Publisher : Kensington Books; Illustrated edition (May 1, 2016)
- Publication date : May 1, 2016
- Language : English
- File size : 4366 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 290 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #32,680 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
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I’ve read three books by this author back-to-back. Richardson’s stories weave me into a tangled web that I cannot leave.
Set in the 60's in the poor, rural, tobacco-raising, and moonshine-making town of Nameless, Kentucky, it is the story of RubyLyn, an orphan being raised by her God-fearing and very harsh uncle Gunnar. For her it is a bleak existence, and she dreams of escaping, but not alone. She dreams of a future, away from Nameless, with Rainey the young Black Man who works for her Uncle and who grew up with her. The story takes place in the Summer when RubyLee is fifteen but about to turn sixteen, when she believes that many more things will become possible. In the meantime she works tremendously hard, puts up with Gunnar, copes with the copious tragedies that are probably inevitable in an area as poor as Nameless, and confides her hopes to the paper fortune-tellers she makes, which are less prophetic than hopeful, both for the people around her and herself.
I found RubyLyn a wonderful character and the book a wonderful reading experience.
Capturing the essence of the big issues in Appalachia in this era, GodPretty in the Tobacco Field is love story, coming of age and a mystery. Enjoy!
Note to author: Dialect would have been theirselves or their self, not themselves.
Today, I finished the most amazing book; GodPretty in the Tobacco Field.
I still have tears drying on my face.
You will be humbled reading this story.
My heart is aching with RubyLyn's painful orphaned life. My childhood was growing up in the 1950's and 60's.
Growing up on a farm, the only daughter to 3 brothers... I have many memories of working into the darkness of night.
Roo brings you into her life, working early, surviving the heat and humidity, strict Uncle Gunnar, family secrets and the ridiculousness of the color of skin and how segregation was such a huge legal issue!!
The pure poverty that Ms. Richardson writes so strongly about... you can smell the dirt and sweat tinged with human waste and unwashed bodies.
I remember my late eldest brother's FFA blue corduroy jacket... he wore it proudly.
Yes. He was a farmer. He died of cancer from farm chemicals.
Thank you Kim Michele Richardson for the gift of this story. Your research and writing gift are amazing!
#I purchased this book... and it's the best $10+ I've spent this year!!
Told in the first person by the young trapped heroine, Godpretty tends to be sad and, at times, painful to read. The story includes dirt poor neighbors, alcoholism, sadness, hunger, and atrocious coping mechanisms. The story of their romance weaves through their childhood and late adolescence to escaping impoverished tobacco fields, seeking a life with some hope.