No one with Jessie's history of childhood trauma could make it through unscathed, and Jessie is no exception. As recounted in Appalachian Justice, Jessie is an adult survivor of horrendous childhood abuse suffered at the hands of her stepfather. At the age of 13, on a stormy night on top of Crutcher Mountain, Jessie was rescued by reclusive mountain woman Billy May Platte.
"Not as good as Appalachian justice"
Beth Sloan has spent the majority of her life trying to escape the memories of a difficult childhood. Born into the infamous Pritchett family of Cedar Hollow, West Virginia, she grew up hard, surrounded not only by homemade stills and corn liquor but by an impoverished family that more often than not preferred life on the wrong side of the law. After the mysterious death of her brother, Luke, at the age of 13, 17-year-old Beth and her younger sister, Naomi, ran away from home, never to return.
In 1945, when Billy May was 14 years old and alone, three local boys witnessed an incident in which Billy May's sexuality was called into question. Determined to teach her a lesson she would never forget, they orchestrated a brutal attack that changed the dynamics of the tiny coal mining village of Cedar Hollow, West Virginia forever. Thirty years after the brutal attack, living in solitude on top of Crutcher Mountain, Billy May discovers the hideout of a young girl - a girl who just happens to be the daughter of one of the boys who attacked Billy May so long ago.
"Backwoods and Backwards are Two Different things!!"
On a sweltering July morning in rural Tennessee, 50-year-old Rebecca Reynolds visits the family farm, where she literally stumbles across the mutilated bodies of her parents and younger sister, a sister who had spent life in a wheelchair after a birth fraught with complications.
"A compelling suspense story"
On a beautiful fall evening, in the middle of a game of hide-and-seek, five-year-old Bobby Clark is kidnapped by his estranged father, a shiftless man with a history of domestic violence and drug abuse. Bobby's twin brother Ricky watches, terrified, from his hiding place behind the bougainvillea, while mother Tabby, who also struggles with addiction, lies inebriated on the living room floor.
After the heartbreak of losing their newborn son to a previously undiagnosed genetic condition, Phillip and Anna Lewinsky managed to patch their lives back together and move forward, filling the emptiness with friends, work, and travel. When Anna unexpectedly finds herself pregnant again at the age of 43, Phillip is thrilled to have a second chance at fatherhood in spite of Anna's objections.
On the anniversary of her husband's death, 49-year-old Emily Holt runs away, leaving an unmade bed, an unlocked house, two college-aged sons, and an overabundance of bad memories.
"Melinda Clayton has done it again."