“Sarah’s Girls is a breath of fresh, clean mountain air. I loved it! No Appalachian author can turn a phrase quite like Lenore McComas Coberly. She takes me home!”
“In Sarah’s Girls, Lenore McComas Coberly demonstrates again her stunning gift for storytelling. With a deftness and an economy of lanquage as true and as brave as the kinfolk she so sensitively portrays, Coberly transports us into their world.”
“In a way, this isn’t a story about a family; it’s a story about a place, a place that nourishes and punishes those who inhabit it.”
Wisconsin State Journal
“Although a work of fiction, (Sarah’s Girls) is one of those compelling and superbly crafted novels that reveal deeper truths about the human condition than most biographies... Sarah’s Girls is highly recommended reading and would make an enduringly popular addition to community library American fiction collections.”
Situated in a remote outpost in West Virginia at the turn of the last century, the story that Lenore McComas Coberly tells in Sarah's Girls is one of place, people, and unquenchable spirit. In this fictionalized account of her recent ancestors, Coberly masterfully traces the journeys of their lives, their dreams, and their hardships over the course of the twentieth century.
At its center is the story of Lena, who returns to care for her dead sister's daughters, giving up the promise of a life that can spare her the adversity rural living guarantees. The author goes back to Big Ugly Creek, the place where her grandparents met—and the place whose memory she cannot leave.
Using the stories she was told in her childhood as a bridge to the past, Coberly uncovers facts about her family history from documents that have made their way from one generation to another and the truth from the inherent understanding she has of these people who are so close to her.
But Sarah's Girls is not about the author; it is about the people and a place she loves. It is fiction written to tell the deeper truth about the hold West Virginia—its mountains and its valleys—has on its people.
Lenore McComas Coberly grew up in Lincoln County, West Virginia. She is the author of The Handywoman Stories and the senior author of Writers Have No Age. Her poetry, essays, and stories have appeared in the Christian Science Monitor, Appalachian Journal, and other journals and in Wild Street Notes: Fifty Years of West Virginia Poetry, 1950-1999.
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