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Shiner

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4.38  ·  Rating details ·  13 ratings  ·  5 reviews
On a lush mountaintop trapped in time, two women vow to protect each other at all costs-and one young girl must defy her father to survive.

An hour from the closest West Virginia mining town, fifteen-year-old Wren Bird lives in a cloistered mountain cabin with her parents. They have no car, no mailbox, and no visitors-except for her mother's lifelong best friend. Every
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Hardcover, 272 pages
Expected publication: May 12th 2020 by Riverhead Books
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Average rating 4.38  · 
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Tammy
Oct 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Taking place amid the abject poverty of the “hollers” of Appalachian West Virginia, a miracle goes very wrong and has devastating repercussions. The storyline follows two generations of mountain men and women and their traditions of making moonshine, snake handling, and what appears to be male dominance. Alcoholism and the opioid crisis rear their heads, yet there is a great sense of love. Love for each other, their land and their mountain traditions which are not to say that there isn’t a ...more
DCLazyGirl
Nov 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"𝘐 𝘣𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘩𝘪𝘴𝘬𝘦𝘺 𝘵𝘰 𝘮𝘺 𝘭𝘪𝘱𝘴. 𝘐𝘵 𝘵𝘢𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘮𝘺 𝘮𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳'𝘴 𝘭𝘢𝘶𝘨𝘩𝘵𝘦𝘳, 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥 𝘰𝘧 𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘤𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘮𝘺 𝘯𝘢𝘮𝘦, 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘳𝘮𝘵𝘩 𝘰𝘧 𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘴𝘬𝘪𝘯 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘳𝘦𝘦𝘬 𝘰𝘯 𝘢 𝘩𝘰𝘵 𝘴𝘶𝘮𝘮𝘦𝘳 𝘥𝘢𝘺. "


I love books about small towns. The Great Alone? Check. Educated? Check. Sharp Objects? Check. This one was most similar to The Great Alone as it is also a family drama with a controlling father. But in this case they are in the land of moonshine (everyone is drunk all the time) and the father believes snakes have powers. It was a
...more
Jacqueline
Nov 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A well written coming of age novel about life as "mountain people" in deep Appalachia. I enjoyed the book, but being from Appalachia myself, it felt like the view on Appalachian people was a bit narrow (snake handling religious zealots, moonshine runners, creek baptisms, poverty, etc.). It didn't feel offensive...because all these types of folks do exist, and in the context of the story it made sense, but I found myself wondering if readers would think they know what Appalachia is about after ...more
Jillian Doherty
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A smoldering, taut debut about isolation and living the life she thought she should have, until she ultimately open her eyes. Literary, atmospheric, and haunting writing~

Shiner is about love of family, love of land, love of tradition-but also one character's ability to see that she is stronger and more capable than her mountain culture has taught her. This is the story of a gradual female rebellion.

With empathy and humanity, Amy Jo Burns illuminates an impoverished, blue-collar section of the
...more
Jacqueline
Nov 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
A well written coming of age novel about life as "mountain people" in deep Appalachia. I enjoyed the book, but being from Appalachia myself, it felt like the view on Appalachian people was a bit narrow (snake handling religious zealots, moonshine runners, creek baptisms, poverty, etc.). It didn't feel offensive...because all these types of folks do exist, and in the context of the story it made sense, but I found myself wondering if readers would think they know what Appalachia is about after ...more
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Amy Jo Burns is the author of the memoir Cinderland and Shiner, a novel. Her writing has appeared in The Paris Review Daily, Tin House and Ploughshares Online, Gay Magazine, Electric Literature, Literary Hub, and the anthology Not That Bad.
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