In Wilderness, nominated for the Pushcart Editors Prize in an earlier draft titled The Clearing, tells the story of Katherine, a 38-year-old advertising executive suffering from a mysterious wasting illness, who on Valentine's Day, 1967, comes alone to a southern mountain wilderness to die; and of Danny, a former Vietnam sniper afflicted with what today would be recognized as PTSD, who has come to that same wilderness so he will not kill again. Inspired by historic Appalachian folk ballads of obsessive love and violence, the novel explores the twin human urges to create and to destroy, through the story of these two individuals, one damaged by war, the other by environmental disregard, who are brought together by an overarching need for love.
A suspenseful literary love story, IN WILDERNESS spins its seductive spell around our fierce need for companionship and our enduring will to survive.
In the winter of 1966, Katherine Reid, debilitated by a terminal and excruciatingly painful illness, moves to an isolated cabin deep in Georgia's Appalachian Mountains. There, with little more than a sleeping bag, a tin plate, and a loaded gun, she plans to spend the few short months remaining to her in beautiful but desolate solitude.
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A coming-of-age tale set in 1955 and told as a year-long correspondence between a young country singer on the way to enormous stardom and a facially disfigured 14-year-olf girl, The Year the Music Changed: The Letters of Achsa McEachern-Isaacs and Elvis Presley received a starred review from Library Journal, rave reviews from Kirkus and Publisher's Weekly, was a Booksense Notable Book for September 2005, and has been translated into Italian (Azimut) and Japanese (Poplar). The reviewer for The AtlantaJournal-Constitution compared it with Harper Lee's classic To Kill a Mockingbird.