A Swallow Press Book
“[Bonnie Proudfoot] helps us enter into the realities of Appalachian life, how people both eked out a life, and really lived.”
Bob on Books
“Proudfoot is a talented wordsmith, and her lyrical writing is the highlight of her debut novel. She details the landscape of the mountains and dirt roads with tenderness and detail, and creates complex, rich characters.”
“Proudfoot reveals the strength, nobility, and despair of those who want to climb out of the hollow yet find themselves at the bottom of a long, unkempt, winding road.”
Janet E. Irvin, Ohioana Quarterly, Spring 2020
“Goshen Road is a rich, multigenerational tale exploring women’s expanding roles in a rural environment. The women are afforded few opportunities here, and they often settle for much less than they deserve, but they are resourceful and ultimately as resilient and reliable as the untamable land.”
Marie Manilla, author of Weatherford Award-winning The Patron Saint of Ugly
Goshen Road is an elegiac, unvarnished, and empathetic portrait of one working-class family over two decades in rural West Virginia, with sisters Dessie and Billie Price as its urgently beating heart. Bonnie Proudfoot captures them, their husbands, and their children as they balance on the divide between Appalachia old and new, struggling for survival and reconciling themselves with past hurts and future uncertainties as the economy and culture shift around them.
The story opens in 1967 with a logging accident and the teenaged Lux Cranfield’s headlong plunge into the courtship of Dessie—a leap he takes not only in the wake of his near-death experience but to exchange his bitter home life for a future with the Prices, a family that appears to have the stability and peace that his own lacks. Within the year Lux and Dessie marry. Meanwhile, Dessie’s rebellious younger sister, Billie, fights her way through adolescence with an eye toward an escape of her own, only to land with Lux’s friend Alan Ray Munn and settle into a life of hardship. Ultimately, the voices and passions of Dessie, Billie, Lux, Alan Ray, and the Cranfield children build on one another to create an unforgettable chorus about the promises and betrayals of love—and what it takes to preserve a family when everything else is uncertain.
Bonnie Proudfoot moved to the Appalachian region in 1979 and has lived there since, teaching for many years at Hocking College in Nelsonville, Ohio. She is a fiction writer, a poet, and a glass artist. This is her first book. More info →
Review in Ohioana Quarterly, Spring 2020Download
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