1924 – North Carolina
In the Hazel Creek Valley of the Great Smoky Mountains, Nathan and Callie Randolph, with their five unique daughters, wrestle to maintain their farm, forests, family, and faith against an unforgiving wilderness. An evil lumber company manager is seeking by every means possible to pilfer their land and clear-cut their virgin forest. A cast of colorful characters, including a menacing stranger, gypsy siblings, a granny midwife, and a world-famous writer—even a flesh-and-blood Haint—collide in a gripping struggle of good and evil amid eruptions of violence and tragedy. Our heroine, fifteen-year-old Abbie Randolph, has to help save her family’s farm and raise her sisters while preserving her faith. This important story, based on almost ten years of research and four years of living in the area, captures the speech, ways, and beliefs of these unique pioneers at a crucial and irreversible turning point in this Smoky Mountains community of the Southern Appalachians. With the march of the industrial age, especially commercial lumbering, the traditional life and ways of our southern highlanders in general, and the Randolphs in particular, were about to change forever.