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Reading Wednesday

Book Review Stay and Fight by Madeline Ffitch

Reading Wednesday

Location: Reading Wednesday

I listened to this book on Audible. It’s the perfect kind of story for Audible. Colorful and unusual characters were brought to life in this independent, raucous, funny and sad story. A powerful story of hard-scrabble people living off the hard-scrabble land in Appalachia Ohio.

Helen – young and naive, arrives with her boyfriend following his pie-in-the-sky plans to live off the grid despite the fact that neither he or Helen have any idea what they are doing. He abandons her soon after their arrival.

Rudy – anti-government, loud and opinionated, Rudy takes Helen on in his lumber and nursery business.

Karen and Lily – lesbians living on the Women’s Land Trust, they are expecting a child, which means they must leave the Land Trust and find another place to live. Karen is rough and hardworking wants to provide for Lily and the baby while Lily wants a happy and stable home to raise her impending babe.

Perley – the baby Lily births grows up in a house of women; Mama L (Lily), Mama K (Karen) and “the mean Aunt” Helen. Perley’s imagination and world view as a toddler and a child is rich and wonderful and keeps the disjointed people together – the only family he has ever known.

But then everything falls apart when Perley wants to go to school, and the makeshift family is exposed to the “system” which believes they are not fit to raise Perley.

This story is beautifully heartbreaking and will make you stop in your tracks to consider your belief of the true meaning of family, the “well-meaning” of the American social services system, and the stereotype image of the backwoods Applachian people.

I loved this debut novel by Madeline Ffitch.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Five stars for Stay and Fight. Read last week’s review of The Alice Network.

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