Across the Blue Ridge Mountains
My novel, Across The Blue Ridge Mountains, is set in the early twentieth century in the small town of Elkton, Virginia during the social and political changes of industrialization, women’s equality, the Eugenics movement, and the removal of mountain families for the Shenandoah National Park.
Mary, the protagonist, makes a fateful decision to run off with a grifter to escape her abusive mother. The novel follows her exile from her family, abandonment in a West Virginia coal camp, and how she eventually flourishes with a family on Hightop Mountain in what is now Shenandoah National Park. Surrounded by nature, she heals from her traumas and discovers the power of female friendships. Empowered, she confronts the long arm of the federal government when over 1,000 families are told to abandon their homes and she fights to save her home and way of life. Even when the government burns down her home, her resilience and grace in the face of adversity become her beacon and ultimately deliver her from herself.
Across the Blue Ridge is comparable to the plots and characterizations in Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain. Writer Tom Barbash, a New York Times bestselling author who edited my novel, said it put him in mind of The Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All by Allan Gurganus.
M.S. Marangione has recently become a writer for Sixty and Me, an online community aimed to support help women to live happy, healthy and secure lives, and develop a positive mindset about the amazing period of women's lives over the age of 50.