by Kachina Domenick Johnson
When I checked this book out from the library, everyone I walked by somehow knew about this book! “Isn’t that a great story?”, “Have you been to Arrowmont?”, “Have you read Wilder?” (one of her other books). The answer to every question was “I don’t know” or “No.” I had never even heard of this book—and learning that it was a story based on real experiences about teaching at a settlement school (what even is a settlement school?) in Gatlinburg, honestly, meant that it ended up on the bottom of my to read pile. I’m just not into local history books.
But a couple days later I picked it up. Everyone sounded really excited about it; even if I don’t know anything about the history, maybe it’s well written. Then I read the first few pages about Claire and I was laughing. Really. The first chapter starts with her described as “the most unlikely person to be relieving herself in a field of ragweed on the side of a dusty mountain road”—this is not going to be a dull, humorless read! And Claire, along with the other characters so far, are growing on me. So I’m sticking with it—and, hopefully, you will too!