Deb 's Reviews > Whispers from the Ashes

Whispers from the Ashes by Patricia Hester
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's review
Jun 29, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: 2012-books-read, kindled-ebook
Read from June 29 to July 01, 2012

This was an almost free download ($.99, I think) from Amazon, so I was pleasantly surprised to see how much I enjoyed this novel. It's the early 1950's in the coal mining village of Giant's Despair, near Wilkes-Barre, PA. Mollie Branigan is a curious, intelligent 12 year old when she stumbles upon a diary written by her grandfather, "Old Charlie." She's surprised to discover how many of her relatives died under suspicious circumstances When she starts asking questions, her parents and other relatives evade her questions for the most part. So she begins to research her family history in secret. She haunts the library reading newspaper clippings, and during frequent family gatherings, she listens in on as many conversations as she can. What she eventually finds out, stuns and repels her, and leaves her wishing she hadn't been so curious. This is also a story of Mollie's relationship with her weak-willed alcoholic father, and her strong, no-nonsense mother. It's also a story, based on fact, of a dying coal town, threatened not just by job loss, but also by the growing underground fire. This could have been a depressing story, but it's not. It's a story of a family who learn to live with some terrible secrets, and who don't allow the past to overcome their love for each other.

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