As the 20th century dawns, the world is transformed in dizzying ways. But nestled in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains is a place, and a family, out of time—where one young girl will grow to face the challenges of each generation before her—and discover whether she has the strength to overcome them…
The eldest surviving daughter of Anna Guinn, Rachel rarely ventures far from her home in the Appalachians, aside from an occasional trip into town to trade a penny for a peppermint stick. Sometimes she yearns for more, but as much as she fears her mother’s unstable mind, she is anchored by the strength of her grandmother, Willa. Freed from an abusive marriage, Willa holds the family together through hardship, all the while fulfilling her role as keeper of her neighbors’ carefully guarded secrets—the most painful of which may be her own.
In this isolated, eccentric world where people depend on moonshine to put food on the table, hang talismans to chase away ghosts—and tragedy can strike as suddenly as a coiled copperhead—Rachel wonders what life has in store. Most of all, she worries whether she and her sister have inherited the darkness that lurks inside their mother. Her one respite is the town’s apple orchard, the ally she finds there—and the revelation that she can take her destiny into her own hands, decide what to leave behind—and what is truly worth carrying into the future…
I wasn’t born with a bad right foot. Instead, I’d been dealt a bad hand when an accident at Papa’s timber mill crippled me. The man known as the off-bearer was busy stacking boards that had just been cut by the spinning, sharp-toothed saw and didn’t see me walk up beside him. With his mind a million miles away, he was simply repeating the tedious pulling-off-and-stacking motion of yet another board when he turned and dropped it on my foot.
It seemed to happen in slow motion. The off-bearer, who was a stoic Irishman named Rusty Flaherty, saw me standing there just a fraction of a second after he’d let the board go, and the look of horror on his face was one I would never forget, and which froze me in place. I was lucky, they said, because it had narrowly missed my head. But I wasn’t lucky enough, for even though Papa immediately threw me in the wagon and hauled me over to Doc Pardie’s house, my foot had never healed right.
The doctor wouldn’t operate because I was only four and “still had growin’ to do, and there ain’t any use but to wait ’til she’s done a-doin’ it,” he’d told my father. I heard Papa tell Mama later that he wouldn’t have let Doc do it anyway, since he smelled like he’d “dived into a bottle of one hundred proof. Maybe it’ll just straighten out on its own,” he’d said, without too much conviction in his voice. And it had healed, just not straight enough or strong enough, and there’d never been enough money to do anything to correct it.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Janie DeVos is a native of Coral Gables, Florida. She attended Florida State University, then worked in the advertising industry for over a decade, including radio, cable television, public relations and advertising firms. Though her career changed over the years, one thing didn’t—her love of writing. She is an award winning children's author. Beneath a Thousand Apple Trees is her adult debut. Learn more at janiedevos.com.
Buy the book:
Janie will be awarding a digital copy of Beneath a Thousand Apple Trees to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.a Rafflecopter giveaway