Donald Davis was born into a southern Appalachian mountain world rich in stories. He grew up listening to his father and his Uncle Frank tell stories of their boyhood, all the while taking in the details of his own childhood experience.
Continua These stories of growing up in Appalachia in the 1950s are funny and true, nostalgic and bittersweet. The characters are memorable: Miss Martha Anne Butler, "the last surviving member of a failed Southern family", whose grocery deliveries always included two pints of gin; the Reverend N.N. Upchurch, old Preacher No-No, whose nickname "pretty well summed up his opinion on most subjects"; and Aunt Laura, who knew to listen for the crack of dawn.
Our narrator faces the trials of growing up with humor, hope, and (usually) good grace. He saves Blue Horse Notebook Paper coupons to buy the world's heaviest coaster bike, engages in games of "Daring Miss Butler", taunts the shadowy Terrell Tubbs with his buddies, and uses the resources of his electronics class to invent a keyless ignition for Red McElroy's Ford pickup. The sweet and painful memories are all here, told in a storyteller's voice.