The Secret Wisdom of the Earth
it's an incredibly strong debut, and i want this guy to quit his job at his venture capital firm (!!!???) and focus full-time on writing, because he is a natural born storyteller, and this book was fantastic, and i don't even know why!
because there's not a lot that is "new" here. i've read gritty coming-of-age novels before. i've read about dysfunctional families who have experienced tragedy. i've read about the way small communities huddle together and share a history ...more
A beautiful, tender and sad coming of ...more
I want to begin by stating I absolutely love Pops and Kevin and Buzzy and Rudy Rae.....these wonderfully well-drawn characters who fill the pages of this touching coming-of-age story.
It's 1985 in the eastern Kentucky Appalachia during a time of land destruction, and fourteen year old Kevin is burdened with the blame and guilt of his little brother's...more
Kevin quickly makes friend with another boy, Buzz who lives in one of the hollows, and their days are spent hanging in a tree house, tromping through the woods and camping in a cave said to be haunted. Though everything is ...more
I don’t know what to say about this book.
According to the little author blurb on the ARC he runs a software company and started this book fifteen years ago.
That’s a long time to be working on a book. And one might argue that genius percolates slowly but I think there is a tendency sometimes to romanticize a long process of writing and put a fetish on the tortured process that lead to the creation of the book rather than on the work itself (which makes me think of The Tunnel, which in my ...more
“Evil doesn’t have to be loud, son. In fact, it reserves that for the merely boorish. Evil is quiet, stealthy – it sneaks up on you, smiles, and pats you on the back while pissing down your leg.”
Let me tell you the tale of how this ended up on my TBR. It was a cold and snowy New Year’s and the family was all in the reading room to
He and his new pal, Buzzy, will indulge in mud baths, hang out in tree houses, explore ...more
I love books centered in Appalachia + I’m a tree hugger = Biased spin starts here.
I love when an author can tell a great fictional story that also draws the reader to a real life issue that is close to his heart and mine; writing and reading with a cause if you will. Ron Rash and Barbara Kingsolver are very good at this. Now I can add Christopher Scotton and his debut novel to that list. A debut? Wow!
A few years back I had looked up images of mountaintop removal after seeing a film narrated ...more
Our narrator is 14-year-old Kevin, who moves with his mom back to her hometown in Appalachia. His mother is mad with grief after losing her 3-year-old son in a terrible accident. Kevin's grandfather tries to care for them, and Kevin ...more
The prose in this book created a song in my heart like the tunes that have been sung throughout the Appalachian Mountains for the last few centuries. Author Christopher Scotton has created a beautifully-written novel which I couldn't help ...more
The Secret Wisdom of the Earth is one of the most beautifully written novels I’ve read in many years. The prose is breathtaking at times and the imagery transports ...more
This debut is a fabulous coming-of-age story about ...more
It is just the kind of book that I love: a coming of age story set in the hills of Kentucky, with a wise old grandfather, and plenty of heart-breaking problems and a bit of mystery and danger to keep the plot moving forward steadily.
Kevin Gillooly and his mother leave their home in Indiana to ...more
Poignantly lyrical and gritty, “The Secret Wisdom of the Earth” packs a wallop of a punch.
It’s a genre kaleidoscope. Grit-lit, southern-fiction, family-drama, mystery, suspense, Appalachian culture, environmental-lit (and the list goes on) in the guise of a coming-of-age ...more
A 3.5 for me. The story dragged a little at the end and some of the characters were a bit too archetypical for me, but rounding up for a good story well told.
Top 50 Books of 2015"Best Coming -of-Age Debut."
THE SECRET WISDOM OF THE EARTH by talented Christopher Scotton, is a highly recommended compelling, multi-layered coming-of-age epic debut, crossing many genres.
A deeply-moving story, with a powerful voice of adult Kevin, main protagonist, telling his story--with a "heart of gold", and as big as the mountains; matched perfectly by audio narrator, Robert Petkoff, delivering an award-winning performance! This ...more
At its ...more
“The Secret Wisdom of the Earth” is a coming-of-age tale in the slice-of-life tradition. It meanders through the beautiful world of ...more
If you choose to buy this book based on my review, please buy from a local, independent ...more
I have to admit that the beginning started kind of slow. Written by a male, the writing reflects a bit of the technical aspects of a boy in his youth. I kept reading because I enjoyed the slow build up. I really felt like I got to know the ...more
Nevertheless, I found the plot to be extremely ...more
Coming of age stories tend to be a flop for me. They tend to leave me craving more depth, more development, more excitement - I just need more. What this book gave me was "the more" that's usually missing. There was never a moment where I thought to myself - "Man, I really wish this part was different." There is nothing I would change about this story.
The character and setting development were done INSANELY well. I felt like I knew these characters really well, almost like I ...more
Wow. Wow. Wow. I am absolutely amazed at the caliber of this novel. The writing was absolutely brilliant. The main character and narrator of the story, Kevin, moves to Kentucky for the summer and experiences so much in that short period of time. The characters were all complex and well-thought-out. The story was both heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. The words on the pages seemed all ...more
While Rash's Appalachian material always feels real, author Christopher Scotton's felt arbitrary and forced. While some narrative flowed, much of it felt awkward, somewhat like an individual speaking a foreign language.
The story itself was engaging and enough happens to keep the reader turning ...more
Don't skip over the chapter titles - they are clever and some are quite thought provoking. I dog eared a few in particular, “The Price of Future Memories,” “The Paradox of Penning Cats,” and “In the Weave of Time and Being.”
It’s used as a title but I especially like how the phrase, “The equivalent damage when high expectations and low ...more
Favorite quote: Just knowing I wasn't alone - knowing that I was guarded by something inexplicable and ecumenical - gave me energy and courage I had never felt before.
All I can say is WOW! This book takes your breath away with the lyrical gorgeous writing. This man can tell a story and make you think you are there living it with everyone. This is a story for men ...more