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Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Patty Pick for 1/1/14 is Gray Mountain by John Grisham

Loved John Grisham's new novel, Gray Mountain! He touches on the coal industry, which continues to descreate the beauty of our mountains at will. The process of strip mining leaves a huge scar on the Earth and is very dangerous to the people who live around it. Many of them are all ready struggling for their daily existence.  
The main character is a female lawyer named Samantha Keofer, which a nice change from John Grisham's normal strong male leads. Grisham seems to have the whole female pysche down in this book. You will like her for her strength in troubled times but her humanity as well. 
As the recession begins to affect the big law firms, Sam finds herself downsized right out of her high-paying job. She has a choice to work for a non-profit and be able to rejoin the firm after a year or find a new job for herself. Samantha runs away to her parents in Washington DC to discuss her options.  Sam's parents have no contact with each other due to a nasty divorce and the conviction and disbarment served by her Dad for previous shady business dealings.  After listening to both parents' opinions on her future, she decides to check out a few of the non-profits on the list. 
She arrives at the door of the Mountain Legal Aid Clinic run by Mattie Wyatt. Sam also meets Mattie's nephew,Donovan, a fellow lawyer who fights the coal companies after his own struggle against the devastating effects of coal mining. The Mountain Legal Aid Clinic needs a new intern and Sam decides to stay and give try it. She quickly realizes she can touch lives on a more personal basis with this type of law.
Donovan and his brother, Jeff, quickly become her source of information and advice on the coal industry and life in Appalachia. Make sure you read this book to find out more about Samantha and to find out the clients she meets and what lengths the coal companies will go to find out what she knows.