In the Garden of Stone
By Susan Tekulve
(Hub City Press, Paperback, 9781891885211, 335pp.)
Publication Date: April 2013
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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Shortly before daybreak in War, West Virginia, a passing train derails and spills an avalanche of coal over sixteen-year-old Emma Palmisano's house, trapping her sleeping family inside. The year is 1924, and the remote mines of Appalachia have filled with families like Emma's immigrant laborers building new lives half a world away from the island of Sicily. Emma awakes in total darkness, to the voice of a railroad man, Caleb Sypher, digging her out from the suffocating coal. From his pocket he removes two spotless handkerchiefs and tenderly cleans Emma's bare feet. Though she knows little else about this railroad man, Emma marries him a week later, and Caleb delivers her from the gritty coal camp to thirty-four acres of pristine Virginia mountain farmland. In the Garden of Stone is a multi-generational tale about the nature of power and pride, love and loss, and how one family endures estrangement from their land and each other in order t