“Under a Cloudless Sky” is another book by Chris Fabry that takes the reader places she never expected to go. I certainly never expected what seemed to be a simple story about an aging woman fighting for her independence to morph into such a revealing look at life in a small mining town in West Virginia. You would think that after reading several novels by this author I would know better. Chris Fabry always has a surprise or two in store for me in every one of his books.
Fabry’s writing never fails to impress me with his skilled plotting and depth of his characters. Although this novel moved between two time frames frequently, I never found it difficult to keep up with the story. With an independent mother close in age to Ruby, there were times I could relate all too well with her children and their fears for her. I have to hope that my own mom never takes it upon herself to do what Ruby did in her story.
So many twists and unexpected revelations not only held my attention but also touched my heart. Once again Chris Fabry has written a novel that grabs his readers’ attention and doesn’t let go. Prepare to be wowed and you might want a box of tissues handy.
I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Tyndale Blog Network. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
A charming and engrossing novel for fans of Southern fiction and the recent hit memoir Hillbilly Elegy about a lush and storied coal-mining town—and the good people who live there—in danger of being destroyed for the sake of profit. Will the truth about the town’s past be its final undoing or its saving grace?
1933. In the mining town of Beulah Mountain, West Virginia, two young girls form an unbreakable bond against the lush Appalachian landscape, coal dust and old hymns filling their lungs and hearts. Despite the polarizing forces of their fathers—one a mine owner, one a disgruntled miner —Ruby and Bean thrive under the tender care of Bean’s mama, blissfully unaware of the rising conflict in town and the coming tragedy that will tear them apart forever.
2004. Hollis Beasley is taking his last stand. Neighbors up and down the hollow have sold their land to Coleman Coal and Energy, but Hollis is determined to hold on to his family legacy on Beulah Mountain. Standing in his way is Buddy Coleman, an upstart mining executive who hopes to revitalize the dying town by increasing coal production and opening the Company Store Museum. He’ll pay homage to the past—even the massacre of 1933—while positioning the company for growth at all costs.
What surprises them all is how their stories will intersect with a feisty octogenarian living hundreds of miles away. When Ruby Handley Freeman’s grown children threaten her independence, she takes a stand of her own and disappears, propelling her on a journey to face a decades-old secret that will change everything for her and those she meets.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Chris Fabry is an award-winning author and radio personality who hosts the daily program Chris Fabry Live! on Moody Radio. He is also heard on Love Worth Finding, Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, and other radio programs. A 1982 graduate of the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism at Marshall University and a native of West Virginia, Chris and his wife, Andrea, now live in Arizona and are the parents of nine children.
Chris’s novels, which include Dogwood, June Bug, Almost Heaven, and Not in the Heart, have won two Christy Awards and an ECPA Christian Book Award, but it’s his lyrical prose and tales of redemption that keep readers returning for more. He has also published more than 65 other books, including nonfiction and novels for children and young adults. He coauthored the Left Behind: The Kids series with Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye, as well as the Red Rock Mysteries and the Wormling series with Jerry B. Jenkins. RPM is his latest series for kids and explores the exciting world of NASCAR.