Tales of Chinkapin Creek, Volume II, continues to follow the Wister family, their employees, neighbors and kin shortly after the turn of the 20th century. A collection of short stories set in the fictional community of Chinkapin Creek, West Virginia, its main character, young Nellie Wister, is the daughter of prosperous farmer, James Wister, and his extraordinary wife Carrie. Young Nellie’s world is vividly peopled by such characters as Amos Wister, a cousin who marries Opal, a Cherokee; Mr. Bumphrey, the organ tuner who, though blind, has nearly extra-sensory perception; Cora Flood, a widow faced with the challenge of salvaging stepsons who were ruinously beaten by their father; the almost crippling superstitions of Ola Smith; Levi Eads, member of a pacifist cult who was driven to fight and kill for his homeland; Mama’s sister Lily whose death by lightning causes Mama to question her faith; Robert E. Lee Kilgore, the blacksmith whose violent temper leads to tragedy; the shallow-minded Aunt Edith, for whom being a doctor’s wife is all show; young Andrew Waybright, trapped in this small village with his eyes on the stars; Em Clayton, Wister’s laundress, who refuses to touch the new washing machine. “I cain’t git men’s shirts clean without work,” she insists; Jonah Smith, the painfully shy farm hand with the glorious tenor voice and Ben Eliot, the devious piano salesman. In addition to the characters that color Nellie’s life, there are events typical of that period: hog butchering, which was the way Southern sympathizers spent Thanksgiving, a day President Lincoln designated as a national observance; annual holiday visits from belsnicklers, comically clad Christmastime visitors; and the awkward adjustments to modern plumbing. These stories join to build a picture of an America not long gone.
About Ms. Jean Ayer
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Published June 27, 2012
by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.
Literature & Fiction.