Pa Cummings wanted his sons to go north. The segregated South in the mid-twentieth century held limited opportunities for African American men. All of his son did go north except Jordan, who married young. Jordan has made a life for himself, with a wife and two sons, but you can’t say that he’s gotten ahead. He’s worked at a number of jobs, but as the novel opens he’s lost his job delivering coal. He’s also gambled away his wife’s savings. Just as Jordan is hitting bottom, his brother Bryant returns from the North. Bryant has money and opinions, and he seems to be interested in playing the big man to Jordan’s wife and sons. Sibling rivalry helps Jordan harness his ambition, but he is not prepared for the lengths to which Bryant will go to defeat him.
John Ehle wrote this book when he lived in Chapel Hill, and the fictional Leafwood and Tin Top are widely thought to be modeled on Chapel Hill and Carrboro.
Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.
Press 53 of Winston-Salem published a 50th anniversary edition of Move Over, Mountain in 2007. The cover art in this posting is from that edition.