Lurry Bab’s future is bleak, almost Dickensian. When Lurry’s mother dies from her husband’s violence and neglect, Lurry takes her infant brother and runs away from home. Daniel McEwen, an old hermit who rescues Lurry, had a history with Lurry’s late mother. There are many connections among the mountaineers–those on the side of the law and those who make moonshine–and these connections come out during the course of the novel. Lurry is torn between what is left of her family–violent and drunken though they are–and a better life at a settlement school. Dave Turpin, a sometime assistant to the moonshiners, also moves back and forth between the moonshiners and the villagers. Lurry and Dave are attracted to each other, but when Dave is accused of murdering Lurry’s father, a happy life together looks unlikely.
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