Long Man Review
Author: Amy Greene
There is something about southern authors writing about southern culture that produces interesting literature. This is certainly true of the book Long Man by author Amy Greene who describes a people and culture that that can only be found in the mountains of east Tennessee. Her descriptions of the people, their environment and living conditions are not complimentary. The physical appearances of many of the characters have obvious flaws. The conditions in which they lived are crude even for the times in which the story occurred.
It is 1936 when a recently completed TVA dam fills and floods the valley where the town of Yuneetah and nearby farms is being inundated. The people who populate the valley are being displaced. There are mixed emotions by those being affected by the rising waters behind the dam. Change is hard. There is a desire to have their lives improved, to have electricity in their homes, but leaving the valley despite its many flaws in order to realize those improvements raises concerns and anxiety. Some are happy to be leaving behind a life and environment that had not been kind to them and looked forward to a new life elsewhere. However there were those that did not want to leave the river and the valley despite its many defects.
The story centers on a woman who does not want to leave. Her desire to stay faces the power of the government, and corporate enterprise but the love for her three year old child is the power that finally moves her. There are many twists and turns as the story unravels. The reader may think they have figured out where the story is going when suddenly it changes direction. Amy Greene has created a memorable story that will keep the reader on edge from the beginning to the end.
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