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    Literary Titan

    Laura Hunter’s Beloved Mother is set in Appalachia in the 20th century. Laura Hunter’s style of writing is what enables you to mentally experience life in the 1900's. We follow a story that involves family drama, unfriendly environments, womanhood and the benefits of togetherness. I had a great time reading about different cultures and how communities co-exist. The diversity in the author’s writing is commendable. The events happen in an Appalachian coal mining area where we are introduced to the lives of three women; two siblings and one daughter. Mona Parsons was taken away by Jackson Slocomb when he was 13. The man from Pennsylvania abused her and even sexually assaulted her. The result of the defilement was a pregnancy. It happened that another man, Tall Corn, rescued her from the hands of abusive Jackson Slocomb. Tall Corn was a Cherokee farmer who renamed Mona and took care of her child after it was born. Meanwhile, Anna Parsons gets involved with a mining supervisor and gets pregnant as well. The events in the book happen over the span of a couple of years. Laura Hunter’s sometimes grim nature of writing is fascinating and consistently engaging as she captures the shifting moods of families as they encounter tragedies like death, misunderstandings, and intense drama. We get to see how curses and fate influence people and how they use unorthodox means to survive. The incorporation of the Cherokee mythology was excellently portrayed and something I found myself relishing. The three main women in the book are distinct but maintain a tight circle as they struggle to live through tough realities that society presents them. This is a story about three women of different generations trying to carve their paths while remaining sane despite the ugly side of life. The strength we see in the women is vividly portrayed through harrowing tribulations that kept me rapt. One gets the impression of living like Native Americans for a moment. The author’s eloquent descriptions of Appalachia allowed me to easily imagine the environment. The plot builds gradually, leaving me at first to wonder if things would ever pickup, but the story certainly does, I just wish it happened sooner. I enjoyed this novel because it cast culture and traditions, womanhood in an new and interesting light. Although slow to start, Beloved Mother delivers a unique experience that is rarely found in other novels.

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