Salt in Boiling Water

This is the third novel of the New River trilogy that began with Madam’s Creek. It also stands on its own legs, however, as a poignant coming-of-age story set in late-nineteenth-century Appalachia. Jenny Lilly and Caleb Wallace have different reasons for leaving their home farm, and they head in different directions, one as an orphan, the other as a budding teacher with an unexpected phobia and the liability of being female in a world that suppresses her gender. Both lack education and financial security. They will need all the grit of their mountain upbringing to cope, but can they thrive? And, once reunited, will they serve or thwart each other’s efforts? Are love and success possible in a world that seems stacked against them?

lfi 1889
Lewisburg Female Institute, 1889

“Organ” of Organ Cave (photo by Jessie Reeder)

Leaving Organ Cave (photo by Jessie Reeder)