Kim Michele Richardson eturns following her Southern debut of Liar s Bench 2015 with GODPRETTY IN THE TOBACCO FIELD another Southern charmer A coming of age tale of one girl s strong determination beyond the small town of Nameless filled with dark secrets poverty tobacco injustice and hardship eplaced with hope family and dreams for a better life if you believeRichardson visited the backwoods and ural areas of Western Kentucky in Liar s Bench In GodPretty she explores Appalachia its darkly coal ich mountains and the hardscrabble people of Eastern KentuckyFrom the ugly tobacco fields Gunnar controls RubyLyn with punishment Anything to do with Gunnar and God would mean punishment However RubyLyn is innocent tender and has a heart of gold From ugly to beautiful A story of poverty oppression of Appalachian women in the sixties the conseuences fears and their limited futuresBeautifully written a Southern backdrop infused with art history and music from acial strife and the limitations of the South especially for women a look through the innocent eyes of a beautiful young girl At fifteen RubyLyn lives with her uncle Gunnar Royal almost sixty years old in 1969 in the South in Nameless Kentucky She works the tobacco field every day and continues to eceive abuse both emotional and physical by her uncle He took her to ten years ago and he had made it his mission and sole purpose to chase out her parents devils Her daddy the sin chaser and snake handling pastor of Nameless Kentucky s Mountain Tent Tabernacle died when she was four and six months later her Mama passed as well RubyLyn wonders why there is so much ugly She misses her mama Henny Stump her best friend is so poor that her family esorts to selling their new baby Her other neighbors Beau Crockett and his three boys are trouble At age forty four Rose is her salvation Rose drives a truck and brings back items from Woolworths to sell to the locals She takes special care of RubyLyn as she knows she has no other female influences From books sketch pads to frilly feminine treasures She encourages her and her talents She creates art out of ordinary tobacco paper RubyLyn liked the word folk artists Rose says artists need good paper and new places to visit to be inspired She loves to draw and create beautiful things on her fortune telling triangles Making her feel alive and closer to her Mama Her ticket out of this town and lifeRainey Ford is a black field worker and he always looks out for her Over the past ten years she saw he had turned into a fine young man but a softness that made her heart sing Gunnar did not care for Rainey s lip any than RubyLyn s sass things he called sins Will her uncle s heart ever soften The time is approaching for the date of the 1969 Kentucky State Fair the following month She has to win the prize money in order to get her a new life in Louisville She would be sixteen in September and she knew if Rose made it there at thirteen she had a shot She kept her small hinged box Her daddy s stuff was long gone eplaced with memories a tiny next of escu I m halfway through Kim Michele Richardson s GodPretty in the Tobacco Field I haven t been eading it at a fast RubyLyn Bishop is a 16 girl living in Appalachian Kentucky in 1969She struggles against her strict uncle and social norms in a town called Nameless Oh how wonderful is this book It is so hard to find good Southern fiction and even harder to find good Appalachian fiction This book was both for me I have never ead an Appalachian novel that seemed so genuine before I grew up with grandparents that were from an area not far from where the story is set I could tell instantly the author knew what the heart of Appalachia is like From the poverty to the hard work and even the dialect. Nameless Kentucky in 1969 is a hardscrabble community where jobs are few and poverty is a simple fact just like the hot Appalachian breeze or the pests that can wipe out a tobacco field in days RubyLyn Bishop is luckier than some Her God fearing uncle Gunnar has a short fuse and high expectations but he’s given her a good home ever since she was orphaned at the age of five Yet now a month shy of her sixteenth birthday Ruby.
Ok is a must ead I eceived a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion This is an authentic Southern coming of age that takes place during the summer of 1969RubyLyn fifteen years old lives in Nameless Kentucky with her strict Uncle Gunnar Royal who physically and emotionally abuses her Every day she works long hours in the tobacco fields having been taught that there is GodPretty in the child who toils in the tobacco field However RubyLyn wonders why all kinds of GodUgly keeps happening around her She only finds enjoyment in her art which she uses to draw on her fortune telling triangles And then there is Rainey Ford just a smile from him brightens her day Rainey is Gunnar s field worker and he and RubyLyn have been playing together since he was 8 and she was 5 However as much as RubyLyn and Rainey want to marry the the town and Gunnar are against it Not only is Rainey on a lower social level but he is black Black men should not touch white girls in Nameless Kentucky Ruby Lyn is whiteThis summer RubyLyn is entering her tobacco in the Kentucky State Fair She wants to win the money so she can move to the big city and marry RaineyThe author places you ight in the hills of the South with her descriptive smooth writing You can tell she has done this before I have ead many Southern books where the dialect is so strange that it interrupts my eading but the eader is in professional hands and can speed smoothly through this bookThis book touches on that time in a girl s life when everything is in transition am I a little girl or do I act like an adult Do I sit with the adults or un outside and play RubyLyn eminds the eader of playing the Who will I kiss first game Where will I live when I grow up and what will I do Who will I marry We see how much faster people had to grow up just a few decades ago It euired courage both then and now to live the life of one s choosing NetGalley and the Publisher provided me this galley in exchange for an honest eview It is 1969 but in No name Kentucky you could never tell Home of tobacco farms poverty and crime They even have a day form the negroes to shop the only day they are allowed in the town stores to shop Racial tensions are still tense RubyLyn our 15 ur old narrator lives with her Uncle Gunnar he took her in after the death of her parents deaths she can t uite emember Her Uncle is a god fearing man a strict though not abusive disciplinarian He is determined to keep her on the straight and narrow to make sure her godpretty says inside RubyLyn wants only to escape this town and find a better lifeOur young narrator is a hard working woman with many dreams We meet characters from many different walks of life Rose a lady who brings things to the farms things she sells things she makes she sneaks Rubylyn books so no wonder she is a favorite of mine But things will come to a head decisions will need to be made and eventually a esolution There is family friendship love and many secrets along the way This is a very good coming of age story listening to Rubylyn and how she sees her life Sad people fighting poverty heavy drinkers whom are the worst and many characters that will tug on your heart How things change for Ruby and what she goes through along the way is the kind of thing that makes a very good storyARC from Netgalley and Kensington Loved it What a wonderful coming of age story Very descriptive and engaging I felt like I was in the mountains of Nameless Kentucky A bit predictable but still a good ead A beautifully written novel of Appalachia when women had no ights and acial interactions were taboo I felt like I was living this story as I ead Sad beautiful full of music art the land and abject poverty I could not put it down. Ing not magic at all but through them she’s imagining life as it could be away from the prejudice and hardship that ipple through NamelessAtmospheric poignant and searingly honest a Coalminer's Daughter meets Winter's Bone GodPretty in the Tobacco Field follows RubyLyn through the course of one blazing summer as heartbreaking evelations and life changing decisions propel her toward a future her fortunetellers never predict.
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I thought the novel was predictable but in the end was so wonderfully not It did drag a bit in the middle but other then that I found it to be perfect I give it four and 12 well deserved stars I was given a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest eviewSee this eview on my blogThe Book Return Blog Kim Michelle Richardson s second novel is set in ural Kentucky a fictional ural Appalachian town Nameless Kentucky where tobacco and coal mining provide meager means for a day to day existence Despite this being set during the era of Free Love other parts of the country you ll feel like you ve stepped back in time RubyLyn is a small child when her parents are gone first her father s death when she was only four followed by her mother s slow wasting away and joining her father only six months later Her mother s brother Gunnar comes to claim her as her only living kin and take to his home in Nameless The live she d lived before with her parents is gone none of the loving touches or the laughter Life on Gunnar s tobacco farm is daily sun up to sun down work If Ruby s not working in the fields she s on her Beauty and sweetness weave a diaphanous fabric against the stark backdrop of poverty and cruelty Sara Gruen 1 New York Times bestselling author of Water for Elephants Nameless Kentucky in 1969 is a hardscrabble community where jobs are few and poverty is a simple fact just like the hot Appalachian breeze or the pests that can wipe out a tobacco field in days RubyLyn Bishop is luckier than some Her God fearing uncle Gunnar has a short fuse and high expectations but he s given her a good home ever since she was orphaned at the age of five Yet now a month shy of her sixteenth birthday RubyLyn itches for Maybe it s something to do with the paper fortunetellers RubyLyn has been making for townsfolk each covered with beautifully wrought prophetic drawings Or perhaps it s because of Rainey Ford an African American neighbor who works alongside her in the tobacco field and with whom she has a kinship despite her uncle s worrisome shadow and the town s disapproval RubyLyn s predictions are just wishful thinking not magic at all but through them she s imagining life as it could be away from the prejudice and hardship that ipple through NamelessAtmospheric poignant and searingly honest GodPretty in the Tobacco Field follows RubyLyn through the course of one blazing summer as heartbreaking evelations and life changing decisions propel her toward a future her fortunetellers never predicted My thoughts RubyLyn has an amazing voice This book is full of southern charm Kim always writes with such beauty and grace I just can t get enough She eally outdid herself this time I didn t know what to expect just when I thought I knew what was going to happen with Ruby and Rainey it all changed RubyLyn and Rainey have been in love for forever Rainey is going off to Vietnam but they are in love and want to un away together but Gunnar won t let them When RubyLyn goes with Rose to the fair here is her moment to shine I could smell the smells of the fair and enjoy every moment what Kim does for the eader is like none other This could be her chance to get the prize money and get out of Nameless marry Rainey and start a new life This book took twists and turns this eader didn t see coming Bravo Kim I look forward to each book and Here are a few teasers from the book that eally stood out for myself Gunnar jerked his head toward me You would do wise to keep a GodPreety soul when your weak mind is tempted to meddle in others affairsIf a field daisy could hold the strongest testament surely my prayers for Baby Jane could be penned to paperDeep down I knew this land claimed its sinners and held tight its secretsThis bo. Lyn itches for Maybe it’s something to do with the paper fortunetellers RubyLyn has been making for townsfolk each covered with beautifully wrought prophetic drawings Or perhaps it’s because of Rainey Ford an African American neighbor who works alongside her in the tobacco field and with whom she has a kinship despite her uncle’s worrisome shadow and the town’s disapproval RubyLyn’s predictions are just wishful think.
Kim Michele Richardson lives in Kentucky and resides part time in Western North Carolina She has volunteered for Habitat for Humanity building houses and is an advocate for the prevention of child abuse and domestic violence partnering with the US Navy globally to bring awareness and education to the prevention of domestic violence She is the author of the bestselling memoir The Unbreakable