Rennie's Way

Overview

"This first work of fiction by Verna Mae Slone, firmly grounded in her own background, is set in the 1920s and 1930s in a closeknit community in eastern Kentucky, where family roots run deep. At its center stands as strong and resilient a heroine as any in American literature. Verna Mae Slone, a native of Knott County, Kentucky, is the author of several books, including the bestselling memoir, What My Heart Wants to Tell.

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Rennie's Way

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Overview

"This first work of fiction by Verna Mae Slone, firmly grounded in her own background, is set in the 1920s and 1930s in a closeknit community in eastern Kentucky, where family roots run deep. At its center stands as strong and resilient a heroine as any in American literature. Verna Mae Slone, a native of Knott County, Kentucky, is the author of several books, including the bestselling memoir, What My Heart Wants to Tell.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Set in Eastern Kentucky's Lonesome Holler of the 1920s and '30s, this first novel, an expanded, refocused and retitled edition of Slone's 1982 self-published Sarah Ellen , deals with the harsh life of Rennie Slone. The death of their mother when Rennie is 12 means that Rennie must care for her infant sister, Sarah Ellen, and keep house for her father, a stern Baptist preacher. Though Rennie's hopes for her own education are dashed, she dreams that one day Sarah Ellen will go to high school at Caney Creek Community Center (founded by real-life activist Alice Lloyd). Rennie's days, meanwhile, are brightened by nurse Miss Rose, who lends her books, and by her cousin Johnnie, who sings charming old ditties and grows to love her. Believing she was ``born to be an old maid,'' she spurns his affections, accepting her hard life with grace along with the other enterprising, hardy folk of Lonesome Holler. Through coal mine disasters, the shooting of a young man who loves Sarah Ellen and other deaths, Rennie moves toward realizing her dream for her sister. Though time sequences are sometimes confusing, Slone's style, which includes dialogue written in dialect, is lively. Readers drawn to regional tales will enjoy learning about Lonesome Holler. (June)
Library Journal
When her mother dies in 1917, 12-year-old Rennie Slone puts her childhood behind her in order to care for her father and infant sister Sarah Ellen. In those days children grew up quickly in the mountains of eastern Kentucky, so Rennie's story is in no way unique, except that it got told. In many aspects autobiographical, this novel is an intriguing mix of family history, lore, mountain culture, and folkways, skillfully bound together with an all-but-transparent thread of fiction. In fact, it is far more successful as a memoir than as a novel, for the true value of this small volume is in its detailed descriptions of mountain life, whether it be preparing milk for churning, or nursing a child through a bout of thrush, or preparing a box for a pie supper, or watching helplessly as a beloved relative dies of a gunshot wound. Rennie's Way is the mountain way, and it is fascinating.-Thomas L. Kilpatrick, Southern Illinois Univ. Lib., Carbondale
From the Publisher

"Slone's style, which includes dialogue written in dialect, is lively. Readers drawn to regional tales will enjoy leering about Lonesome Holler." -- Publishers Weekly

"The novel's main strength lies in its sense of community. Here is a network of independent spirits who have merely to ring a dinner bell when a neighbor is in need." -- The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813118550
  • Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
  • Publication date: 5/28/1994
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 5.83 (w) x 8.84 (h) x 0.97 (d)

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