Thursday, November 29, 2018

Under a Cloudless Sky by Chris Fabry ~ Book Review

In 1933, in the mining town of Beulah Mountain, two young girls form an unlikely friendship.  Though from different walks of life, Ruby being the daughter of one of the mine's owners and Bean being the daughter of an alcoholic mine worker, their friendship runs deep and ignores the prejudices from both sides of the track, so to speak.  Ruby's father is working hard to try and bring changes to poverty stricken area but he is up against the the other mine owner who only looks at the bottom line and where he can take advantage.

In 2004, Ruby is now in her 80's.  She has been invited to the grand opening of a museum in the town of Beulah Mountain where the mining history of the town will be featured.  She has avoided going so far as she doesn't want to think of the tragic massacre that happened there just before she left.  But as she listens to a message on the radio from her favorite preacher, she realizes she needs to deal with some secrets from her past.  But when her son and daughter show up announcing they want her to quite driving she knows it is now or never and facing the past can no longer be put off.

At the same time in Beaulah Mountain Hollis Beasley is trying to hang onto his property that has been handed down to him.  It is the only thing that his family owned and with come all the history, memories and family legacy.  But the mining company has convinced the rest of the town to sell so that they can literally strip the mountain.  Hollis doesn't know how much longer he can be the last holdout, especially now that his beloved wife is ill.  As the town is nearing it's celebrations for the Company Store Museums grand opening a perfect storm is brewing for Hollis, Ruby and the town of Beaulah Mountain.

I loved this story!!  Bean and Ruby drew me in right from the beginning.  Their personalities and unlikely friendship were a great element to the story and it was fun being privy to their developing friendship.  I loved the historical aspect of the story that told of the hard lives of the miners and the attitudes of the owners and how that played into Appalachian history.  I thought the author did a great job in building all the main and secondary characters in spite of their being quite a few.  I was never confused as to who was who and their relationships and stories were all interesting and relatable.  Because I am at that time in my life of parents in that age group the part of the story about Ruby and her children really struck home in a lot of ways.  There are twists in the story that were timed perfectly.  This was a wonderful read.  Highly recommend.


Barbara H. said...

I love Chris Fabry's books. This sounds like another great one.

Faith said...

Oh I think I've read at least one of this author's books!! This is going on my "look in the library" list!! In fact, Saturday afternoon I have a trip to our library planned. And Beulah was the name of my mother although she legally changed it to Bea when she was in her 40s. :) My grandmother gave all of her children (10!) very old fashioned names. :)
Thanks for the book review!!