What binds us to, or makes us flee from, places that ultimately shape our lives? Places where we have loved or betrayed those we love, suffered illness, or endured unfathomable tragedy. In her debut novel In the Garden of Stone, Susan Tekulve writes with rich detail and insight about the power and perils of place and its connection to the human spirit.
Tekulve's story - winner of the South Carolina First Novel Prize - begins in 1924 in War, West Virginia, where Sicilian immigrants have settled to live and work in the coalmines of Appalachia. While 16-year-old Emma Palmisano and her family sleep, a coal car crashes and spills its contents over their house. Emma wakes to a railroad man named Caleb patiently cleaning her injured bare feet. She marries him only a week later, and the couple moves to a house on 47 acres of Virginia mountain farmland.
More than a decade passes and Emma ...
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