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June 01, 2015

The Secret Wisdom of the Earth

The Secret Wisdom of the EarthThe Secret Wisdom of the Earth

By: Christopher Scotton

In The Secret Wisdom of the Earth, Christopher Scotton brings to life a coal mining community in the fictional town of Medgar, Kentucky through the eyes of 14-year old Kevin. Kevin and his mother come to spend the summer of 1985 in Medgar with his maternal grandfather after a tragic accident takes the life of his younger brother. The novel explores the nature of grief, loss, hatred and fear through a series of events that take place during that summer. Scotton sets his novel in a community torn apart, both literally and figuratively, by the coal mining industry. The novel discusses the permanent impact of mountaintop removal on the land as well as the physical impact the work has on the miners. Regardless of your personal views on coal, this provides a thematic element that invokes the moral price we sometimes have to pay when making hard decisions about the survival of our families and our communities.

The novel is fast-paced and full of plot elements that keep the reader on the edge of their seat. Further, although it is tragic, it is also touching and heartwarming in places. Kevin’s grandfather, Pops, is just the type of role model we all yearn to have in our lives. This is an engaging read that I think you will enjoy!

Review By: Heidi Herald