This is a review of Nora Roberts’ new book The Liar for Netgalley.
This novel is set near Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Gatlinburg is in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It a resort town with “450 unique shops in downtown Gatlinburg and along the 8-mile Arts and Crafts Loop. You’ll see mountain handiwork at its best, created by skillful hands using simple tools. The Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community is recognized internationally as the largest group of independent artisans in North America. The community features artisans who whittle, carve, cast, sew, weave and transform raw elements into works of wonder, art and function.” http://www.gatlinburg.com/visitor-information/
It was founded by Martha Jane Huskey Ogle, her children and several other family members who arrived in a remote locale of the Great Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee called White Oak Flats in 1807. Note, this could be an apocryphal story as the website for visitors hints at this.
I don’t know a lot about Tennessee apart from what I’ve gleaned from TV and comments such as:
“It’s Tennessee. Half the women in that bar are carrying” [guns!]
So they clearly believe fiercely in the second amendment. It a strong Republican voting area I still believe.
I also have heard about the poverty in the hill country especially and also the concept of early marriage – at one time, I believe the legal age for marriage was 12 for a girl.
Now this idea of early marriage was borne out by the characters in this story where the marrying ages of the women were: 15- 15 nearly 16 – 18. With similar for the 7 generations that they knew about.
They mention Great Great Granny whose 1st husband died when she was 18 by which time she had had 3 children and was carrying her 4th! She proceeded to have 2 more children with her 2nd husband and a 3rd husband at the age of 22 and a further 6 children.. she was very busy indeed and so were the feuds/wars that managed to kill her first 2 husbands.
There was some great language in this book such as the phrase that “chafes my thighs” which immediately brings to mind a sensation for those of us not blessed with a gap between their thighs and hot sweaty summer days; and also some mention of some interesting wild flowers.
Yellow trillium: typically flowers in April and May. Its twisted yellow petals distinguish it with a lemony fragrance. It can be found in deciduous forests, open woods, along rocky stream banks, and in rich mature forest on calcareous substrates. Yellow trillium was long considered a color morph of the more widely distributed Trillium cuneatum, but studies that are more recent have shown it to be a distinct species. Yellow trillium is found primarily in Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, and Kentucky.
Crested iris: The crested iris occurs from the Ohio River valley into the central southeastern states with several disjunct populations in the central Mississippi river valley in west-central Illinois and eastern Iowa and a population in northeastern Ohio
Columbine aka Aquilegia: widely distributed in Eastern USA
Mountain laurel: one of 7-10 species native to North America. Actually related to heathers not laurels as a member of the Kalmia family. Poisonous to livestock and possibly humans.
Lady’s slippers: slipper orchids. found under trees, in small openings, grassy meadows or prairies. hardy terrestrial plants that can grow in cold climates and flower in early to mid-spring when there is plentiful moisture and cool temperatures
Wild rhododendrons or are they Azaleas? Rhododendron maximum — its common names include great rhododendron, great laurel, rosebay rhododendron, American rhododendron and big rhododendron — is a species of Rhododendron native to the Appalachians of eastern North America. It is an evergreen shrub growing to 4 m (13 ft), rarely 10 m (33 ft), tall. The flowers are 2.5–3 cm (1 in) diameter, white, pink or pale purple, often with small greenish-yellow spots.
Yellow blue-bead lily: (commonly Blue-bead lily or Clintonia, also Clinton’s Lily, Corn Lily, Cow Tongue, Yellow Bead- lily, Snakeberry, Dogberry, Straw Lily), is a perennial forest plant found in eastern North America.
[[Photos of these plants]
Also birds such as blue birds; red cardinals and juncos.
Found some[photos of these birds] too…
The Liar in the book is the husband – or is he? And just how many lies ahs he told and to who? Each chapter finds a new lie out and I was never quite sure what the next one was going to be. I found this a great and compulsive read and loved it. 4.5 stars.