Sugar Fork: A Novel

Sugar Fork: A Novel

by Walt Larimore


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In this sequel to Hazel Creek from award-winning author Walt Larimore, a loving rural family struggles to survive tragedy and cope with the invasion of modern ways in the 1920s.

THIS CAPTIVATING STORY takes place in the Sugar Fork Valley of the Great Smoky Mountains wilderness during 1925–1926. Nate Randolph and his five unique daughters wrestle to survive after the death of Callie (his wife and their mother) as well as to maintain their farm, forests, family, and faith against an evil lumber company manager seeking to clear-cut their virgin woodland.

A cast of delightful characters, including gypsy siblings, Cherokee Indians, a granny midwife, a world-famous writer, and even a flesh-and-blood Haint, join our heroine, sixteen-year-old Abbie Randolph, in her life-and-death struggle. Abbie falls in love for the first time, helps run the farm, and mothers her independent sisters while battling to preserve her faith when senseless murders threaten to destroy her family and way of life.

Will the Randolph family survive intact? Will the farm be saved? Only a miracle could make it happen.

With the march of the industrial age, especially industrial lumbering, the roaring twenties, Prohibition, the increasing momentum for a national park, and the onslaught of a modern world, trains, and radio communication, the traditional life and ways of our Southern Highlanders were about to change forever.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781439141908
Publisher: Howard Books
Publication date: 10/02/2012
Edition description: Original
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 5.62(w) x 8.28(h) x 0.94(d)

About the Author

Walt Larimore, M.D. is a noted physician, award-winning writer, and medical journalist who hosted the cable television show on Fox’s Health Network, Ask the Family Physician. He lives in Monument, Colorado.

Reading Group Guide

Topics & Questions for Discussion

1. Which of the Randolph sisters did you most like? Which one did you most identify with? Why?

2. Abbie and her sisters seemed particularly close to their father. Why do you think that was?

3. Abbie and her sisters hated the damage the lumber company inflicted on their valley, yet they also seemed to enjoy some of the luxuries the company provided (such as community events, ice cream, a movie theater). How do you think they would explain this apparent contradiction?

4. Although the moonshine whiskey was “medicinal,” Nate seemed to know it was being used for illegal purposes. Even if what he did was “legal,” was it right, especially knowing that people were using the product illegally?

5. At several points in the book, the locals (Maddie and Granville Calhoun, to name two) argued that the Prohibition was either wrong or evil or both. Do you think their arguments were valid? If so, why? If not, why?

6. The characters had a variety of feelings about the impact a national park might have on their valley. If you lived there, at that time, how would you have felt? Would you have favored the formation of a national park, even if it meant losing your home?

7. Dr. Andrew Keller was the lumber-company doctor. Did the locals trust him or just tolerate him? Why or why not? Explain your view.

8. Why did Wade Chandler come to the area? What do you think he was seeking? Were his motives altruistic or more self-centered? What evidence would you give to support your view?

9. Lillian Frye took advantage of an almost unknown law to help the girls. She admitted she was not following the “spirit of the law,” but rather “the letter of the law.” Was she right to do this, or not? Why?

10. The Haint, Jeremiah Welch, practiced an ancient tradition called sin eating. Why did the pastor consider the practice “pagan”? With what biblical teaching(s) would this custom clash?

11. How important to Abbie was her spiritual faith? How many spiritual disciplines did Abbie practice? How did these disciplines aid her in both happy and sad times? What spiritual disciplines do you need to develop in your life? How will you do this?

12. Many difficult and bad things happened to Abbie and her sisters during this story. Does God cause bad things to happen? Does he allow bad things to happen? How can God use difficult experiences and circumstances in your life?

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Sugar Fork: A Novel 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
ReviewsFromTheHeart on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A few months back I found a beautiful treasure! To a book lover, one of our greatest treasures is to find an amazing book that transports you as you read it to another time and place. It frees you from the cares of this world and takes you away to live another life. That's just what I found when I read the first book Hazel Creek by Walt Larimore. When I wrote this amazing man to tell him what literal joy his first book brought me, he was flattered, and humbled! He then told me that in the fall of this year, the second book would be released to continue to story of the Randolph girls and the wonderful characters you've come to call friends that live around the Smoky Mountains. This is that treasure!In the second book by Walt Larimore, Sugar Fork picks up right where Hazel Creek left off. The Randolph girls are now being raised by their Pa, Nate, along with their older sister, Abigail or Abbie since their mom died giving birth to Sarah Beth. Abbie is in the process of being courted by Bobby Lee, the Sheriff's son and also living along the 600 acres of virgin forests that the Randolph's own is the gypsy brother and sister, Daniel and Maria, who are helping their Pa manage the busy farm and family.Abbie is working hard at raising her sisters while her Pa finds that even during the prohibition, sale of moonshine for medicinal purposes is still allowed. So he finds that by working with the local mountain folks, he can earn enough money through transporting it to town of Proctor so he doesn't have to cut down any of his trees on his property to sell to the local lumber company. While Abbie dreams of the day that Bobby Lee will finally propose, things take a turn for the worse when her Pa doesn't return from hunting one day. Two her of family's friends, James and Jonathan Walking Stick, Cherokee Indians, promise Abbie to go looking for him come daylight. Now Abbie worries just what will happen to her, the girls and the farm if something should happen to her father.The villian's still exist in this town with L.G. Sanders, a foreman hired by Mr. William Calhoun, the towns largest financial contributor and owner of the lumber company. They are still in the planning stages of doing whatever it takes to buy the property from Nate Randolph, but he has no plans on giving up the family farm and forest. Sanders has had it out for Nate since the first book and will make sure he acquires the land in any manner he can, even if it means killing innocent men.There are new characters introduced in this series, one of which is the new town doctor, Wade Chandler, working as an apprentice of Dr. Andrew Keller, the long time company physician for Calhoun Lumber company. Also the Earnshaws, Candace and Luke come back to the Randolph farm, who are Abbie's aunt and uncle to see how they can help when tragedy strikes, along with the world-famous writer Horace Kephart, who's trying to find a way for the Smoky Mountains to become recognized as a National Park which would preserve the land for future generations and secure the family forests from the likes of the Calhouns!I received Sugar Fork by Walt Larimore compliments of the author himself along with Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster for my honest review. Once again, I've been captivated by a different time and place and fallen in love being a part of the Randolph family . In this wonderful sequel to Hazel Creek, the faith of the entire community will be tested and only a miracle may save them from the ultimate fate. For anyone who loves book series like The Little House on the Prairie, then you will LOVE this series of books. The perfect blend of faith in God and learning to deal with the tragedy's that come with living in 1925 are captured perfectly in this wonderful series I can't wait to share with all my readers. Trust me, once you read the first book, you'll be hooked forever!I easily rate this one a perfect 5 out of 5 stars and am keeping my fingers crossed that there will be more in t
Anonymous More than 1 year ago