Stone Man Mountain
- Author(s): Thomas, Annabel
- Imprint: Univ Tennessee Press
- Publication Date: 2002-02-13
- Status: Active
In Stone Man Mountain, a multigenerational saga brimming with character and incident, Annabel Thomas explores struggles of truly epic proportions: between city and country, modernization and tradition, love and power, violence and creativity.
When, in 1910, York Mende’s grandmother moves him from the hills of southeastern Ohio to a town in the flatlands, the boy is glad to leave his Appalachian heritage behind. Raised on Horatio Alger stories and tales of his cunning politician grandfather, York comes to enjoy city life while studying veterinary medicine and reigning as a star athlete at the university. From time to time, he must return to the hill country to look after his inherited property, but he is careful to avoid being snagged by any mountain girl—especially Dissa Marie Lovett, who plainly sees him as a means to getting herself out of the hills. When Dissa finally does escape, she rejoices, but eventually she realizes that she has left not only the Appalachians but also her identity and her moral and spiritual framework.
It is Dissa’s artist daughter, Rohanna, who returns to the hills. Crippled physically and emotionally by a friend’s betrayal, she is drawn to Tavis Clendennin, a schoolteacher and blacksmith, who shows her how strip mining is destroying the land. When the mysterious murders of local children remind Rohanna of her own past traumas, she withdraws into herself, afraid to trust anyone. Only gradually, in learning how to turn her agrarian roots into art, does Rohanna find meaning for her life and a way to live in the company of others.
Spanning forty years and set against a richly textured background, Stone Man Mountain is a thoroughly engrossing novel that combines narrative power, an unwavering command of voice and dialect, and remakable insight into human frailties and strengths.
The Author: Annabel Thomas is the author of Blood Feud, The Phototropic Woman, and Knucklebones. She is a native of Columbus, Ohio, with family ties to the Appalachian foothills.