Deana Perry, the daughter of a coal miner, and Will Brinson, the son of a wealthy coal operator, have tried to leave the shadows of their powerful fathers and the painful secrets of Ash Grove, Kentucky, far behind them. But now Cleave Brinson is dead and Wayman Perry is dying. Will, who wonders if his father was capable of murder, finds himself drawn back to Ash Grove determined to unravel the mystery of his mother's death. Deana has managed to build a life for herself and her daughter Sophie. But when she returns to Ash Grove, will their fragile happiness be able to survive the truth?
Lee Smith writes, "Wanda Fries goes straight for the heart in Ash Grove, a story of lost love and terrible secrets in an Appalachian mining town. Both gritty and poetic, real and transcendent, Ash Grove is a literary page-turner, heralding a major new talent."
Silas House--"Ash Grove is a beautiful novel."
"A tale spun out as if from a reel of dynamite fuse, Wanda Fries' Ash Grove winds a precarious, rocky way through darkness, back into the light.' Christina Lovin
In the Absence of Angels
Father Greg Livesay, Ash Grove's only Episcopal priest, is handsome, charismatic, and troubled. Burdened by the problems of his parishioners, he has withdrawn into alcohol and sadness. His wife Jenna, who has become estranged from Greg, is also struggling with the loss of her parents, her father to cancer and her mother to dementia. Her son Lauren is drawn to a girl whose shyness masks a spiral into mental illness that, like Greg's addictions, will plunge the Livesays into a crisis they might not survive.
Will the winterbird sing
from her branch of bone
in the absence of angels?