Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Secret Wisdom of the Earth

by Christopher Scotton

Loved the title, not so much the book.

The Secret Wisdom of the Earth is a coming of age story set in Appalachia during the 1980's. Fourteen year old Kevin is struggling to come to grips with the accidental death of his three year old brother. He blames himself and so does his father. So Kevin and his mom retreat to her backwoods hometown in Kentucky where Pops works on getting them both through the grieving process.

If addressing the grief thing isn't enough, Scotton also throws in the issues of coal mining and homosexuality and frankly does a disservice to all three by making them trite and overly fantastical. Here's my snarky synopsis:

Kevin, the distraught teen meets up with Buzzy, a mischievous but good-hearted hillbilly who is showing him the ropes of the hills. The all-wise and good Pops decides to take these boys on a camping trek through the mountains where they can observe first hand the devastation the evil mining companies have wreaked upon the mountains. Suddenly out of the blue, these three innocents are caught in the crossfire of a mad hunter. Pops and Buzzy are shot, Buzzy runs off (I can't remember exactly why) and it is up to Kevin to save them! Kevin, (who is a city boy and 14) removes his hiking gear and reveals his true identity as "Superboy" being able to dodge bullets, create a magical compress to staunch Pops' profuse bleeding, build a rig and drag him for miles over the river and through the woods, fight off wild animals and be strengthened by the legendary White Stag! As expected, he comes through, Pops heals and the town gathers together to sing kumbaya.

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