In the Great Smoky Mountains wilderness in 1925, Nathan and Callie Randolph, with their five unique daughters, struggle to maintain their farm, forests, family, and faith against a menacing business and an evil company manager trying to pilfer their land and clear cut their forest.
As loggers invade the mountains, death touches the family, and hardship and loss confront them again and again; fifteen-year-old Abbie Randolph becomes mother to her sisters and leans on her faith to guide her through the emotional wilderness of changing times. With the march of the industrial age, the roaring twenties, Prohibition, the increasing momentum for national parks, and the onslaught of a modern world, the traditional life and ways of the mountaineers were about to change forever.
Featuring a cast of colorful characters, including independent and earnest mountain families, a murderous lumber company manager, Cherokee Indians, a band of gypsies, desperados, lumbermen, moonshiners, a world-famous writer, and Civil War heroes, Hazel Creek reveals a gripping struggle of good and evil during an eruption of violence.
A beloved family physician, Walt Larimore is the perfect author for this novel of love, loss, and injury that illuminates the enduring power of faith.
Read an Excerpt
May 24, 2009
She didn’t look one hundred years old.
“This must be the best view from any nursing home in the country,” I said, sitting in a rocking chair next to her wheelchair. I placed a brown bag at my feet and gazed at the lush, rounded mountains, which undulated in wave after wave, stretching to the horizon over twenty miles away—where the highest mountains separated North Carolina and Tennessee.
A wry smile slightly lifted the corners of her wrinkled lips. “To gaze across the great ridges, which like giant billows blend their sapphire outlines... see more
Reading Group Guide
Topics & Questions for Discussion
1. What surprised you about life on Hazel Creek?
2. Did you have any misperceptions about mountain people? If so, what were they and how did this book change them or support them?
3. With which character do you most closely identify and why? What do you see as his or her strengths and weaknesses?
4. Which of the Randolph sisters did you like the most and why? Do you have any predictions about what may become of them in the next book?
5. The lumber company believed in the right of subduing the earth and ruling over it. Was their view correct? Can you think of any verses to support that belief? What obligations do we have to wisely care for the earth and natural resources? Can you think of any Bible verses that support your view?
6. Many of the characters in the book depended upon scripture memory as they faced various obstacles. Do you see this as a strength or a weakness, a comfort or a crutch? Do you believe you need to memorize more scripture or not? Why or why not?
7. Could you identify with Abbie’s reluctance to be forced to give gifts to the poor family see more