It's 1939, and the federal government has sent USDA agent Virginia Furman into the North Carolina mountains to instruct families how to modernize their homes and farms. There she meets farm wife Irenie Lambey, who is immediately drawn to the lady agent's self-possession. Already, cracks are emerging in Irenie's fragile marriage and she has taken to night ramblings through the woods to escape her husband's bed, storing strange keepsakes in a mountain cavern. To her husband, these are signs that Irenie is practicing black magic.
Over the Plain Houses is the story of a woman intrigued by the possibility of change, escape and reproductive choice — stalked by a Bible-haunted man who fears his government and stakes his integrity upon an older way of life. In this spellbinding Southern story, Franks bares the myths and mysteries that modernity can't quite dispel.
Julia Franks has roots in the Appalachian Mountains and has spent years kayaking the rivers and creeks of Tennessee, North Carolina and West Virginia. She lives in Atlanta, where she teaches literature and runs Loose Canon, a web service that fosters free-choice reading in the classroom. This is her first novel.
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