In this emotional debut, a New York executive, restless in his success, is sent to West Virginia, where a small-town girl and her son open his eyes to a richer life than he could have imagined.
On the surface, Charlie Burden and Natty Oakes could not be more different: she, the daughter of many generations of rural farmers; he, an executive at a multinational engineering firm. But in each other they find the new lease on life they both so desperately need.
Natty dreams of a life beyond her small town. She is unhappily married to her high school crush - who now spends more time at the bar than at home - and passes the time nursing retired miners, coaching her son’s soccer team, and running the mountain trails she knows by heart, longing to get away from it all. Charlie has everything he ever thought he wanted, but after 25 years of climbing the corporate ladder, he no longer recognizes his own life: His job has become bureaucratic paper-pushing, his wife is obsessed with their country-club status, and his children have grown up and moved on. When he is sent to West Virginia to oversee a mining project, it is a chance to escape his stuffy life and to get involved, instead of watching from the sidelines. Arriving in Red Bone, though, he gets more than he bargained for: His new friends become the family he was missing, and Natty reminds him what happiness feels like. When his company’s plans threaten to destroy Natty’s family land, his loyalties are questioned, and he is forced to choose between his old life and his new love in a fight for Redemption Mountain.
I thoroughly enjoyed most of this novel. As always, Mark Bramhall's narrating was outstanding, and the story itself was entertaining and interesting. But I didn't like the ending ... at all! It ruined the "Overall" experience for me.
Charlie is devastated when his wife has an affair, so he takes a job offer in West Virginia. He meets Natty and you just know they're going to fall for each other, but so much lies in the way - an abusive husband, law suits, town poverty and resentment.
At times you will be gripping your fists cheering them on as their connection is so strong, but you know the finale is going to bring about some heartache.