Thursday, February 20, 2020

my new obsession

I have a new writer that I am obsessed with--Julia Keller. She is a Pulitzer award winning journalist with the Chicago Tribune and grew up near Huntington, West Virginia. Her heroine is a county prosecutor in a fictional county in Southern West Virginia.

I'm on her sixth novel tonight and will finish it tomorrow.

One of the things that comes up over and over is those 'who got away'--people who escaped West Virginia and its poverty and drug abuse.

Some of them come back. Some of them don't come back but consider themselves 'West Virginians' none the less. And some of them escape and forget where they came from.

Bern won't read the books though they are wonderful, because she is one of the last group who got away and don't want to be reminded of where they came from. I am in the second group.

I even said to St. Andrew's when Bryan Spinks, an English priest, and I were going to shift assignments the next Sunday so I could be at a meeting at another church: "next week you will have a refined English gentleman instead of a scruffy Appalachian from West Virginia."

Belfa Elkins (yes, 'Belfa') is the main character and she is of the first group--the ones that left and came back. She divorced her wildly successful husband, one of the third group, who she met in high school and moved away from Washington, DC, back to Acker's Gap (also fictional) with her daughter and with her Georgetown Law School diploma and got elected prosecuting attorney.

The books are so well written, so thoughtful, so deep and so tortured.

They depict West Virginia so accurately and truly.

I love them.

Keep writing Julia--I only have three more to read. Write fast.

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About Me

some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.