John Lavelle, author
Cassie Wolphe lives in the mountains of West Virginia and is coming of age in the turbulent times of the nineteen sixties. At fourteen Cassie believes she will live the life of her mother, grandmother, and aunts, marrying and spending her life on a small farm, rearing her children. However, modern culture, through TV and radio, and the Vietnam War permeate the everyday life of the young people in the mountains. This modernity carves away at the foundation of the lives of Cassie, her brother Ben, her boyfriend, Jake, and her friends. Only her monstrous cousin, Rancy is unaffected finding his true calling in the Vietnam War. Cassie is in love with Jake McCollum, believes she will marry him and constructs her life around this central act, but like her brother, Ben, Jake rejects a life he believes offers nothing but hard work and poverty and decides to leave the mountains for the city. Cassie must make a decision between Jake and her love of the mountains, a choice that will redefine her life forever. She is left struggling to deal with the encroachment of this strange new world, the fading away of a way of life and who she might be as a young woman. Through her journey to adulthood, she marries an abusive man, Judd Cantrell, and is left with two small children to care for. In desperation to keep her boys, Cassie goes outside the law, only to lose her children to Mother Cantrell. Cassie decides to take a stand, believing she could very well end up in jail or dead.