The Coal Tattoo
By Silas House
(Ballantine Books, Paperback, 9780345480057, 341pp.)
Publication Date: August 30, 2005
List Price: $15.00*
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Life isn’t easy for twenty-two year old Easter and her teenage sister Anneth, who were left parentless as young children. While Easter, a devout Pentecostal, finds solace in the powerful music of her church, Anneth seeks comfort in the rougher edges of life found in dancing, drinking, and fast living. Easter believes in tradition and is intent on rearing her wild young sister properly, but it’s only a matter of time before a wedge is driven between them–and threatens to undo their bond forever. . . .
“A portrait of two sisters that is both realistic and deeply moving . . . House stakes a strong claim on the territory of Southern fiction, unearthing new gems from a well-loved landscape.”
–The Charlotte Observer
“[This] lovely novel . . . about the love and survival skills of two very different sisters . . . is powered by a strong sense of place.”
“[House is] a writer of startling abilities . . . a master at rendering his characters’ emotional terrain as real and accessible.”
–The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“Full of heartbreaking beauty and suffering . . . House brings vividly to life the Appalachian Mountains. . . . His love of the land comes through his words, and his admiration of the people colors every character.”
“Some characters wear coal tattoos, patches of coal buried in the skin. . . . The author brands the readers with a similarly indelible mark as we become enmeshed in the lives of these people; it’s a badge to be worn proudly.”
“A deeply emotional story . . . How do we cope with tragedy and heartbreak? The Coal Tattoo describes the struggles that all of us must endure to be human.”
–Dayton Daily News
“Engrossing . . . [A] pitch-perfect tale.”