Heaven Leigh Casteel was the prettiest, smartest girl in the backwoods, despite her ragged clothes and dirty face...despite a father meaner than ten vipers...despite her weary stepmother, who worked her like a mule. For her brother Tom and the little ones, Heaven clung to her pride and her hopes. Someday they'd get away and show the world that they were decent, fine and talented -- worthy of love and respect.
Then Heaven's stepmother ran off, and her wicked, greedy father had a scheme -- a vicious scheme that threatened to destroy the precious dream of Heaven and the children forever!
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Whenever the summer winds blow I hear the flowers whispering, and the leaves singing in the forest, and I see again the birds on wing, the river fish jumping. I remember, too, the winters; how the bare tree branches made tortured sounds as the cold winds whipped them about, forcing limbs to scrape the shedlike cabin that clung precariously to the steep mountainside of a range called by the West Virginian natives, the Willies.
The wind didn't just blow in the Willies, it howled and shrieked, so everyone living in the Willies had good reason for looking anxiously out their small dirty windows. Living on the mountainsides was... see more