• Appalachian Justice

  • Cedar Hollow, Book 1
  • By: Melinda Clayton
  • Narrated by: Lee Covington
  • Length: 7 hrs and 23 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (60 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Deep in the mountains of Appalachia, Billy May Platte learned the hard way that 1940s West Virginia was no place to be gay:

"We was sheltered in them hills. We didn't know much of nothin' about life outside of them mountains. I did not know the word lesbian; to us, gay meant havin' fun and queer meant somethin' strange."'

In 1945, when Billy May was 14 years old and alone, three local boys witnessed an incident in which Billy May's sexuality was called into question. Determined to teach her a lesson she would never forget, they orchestrated a brutal attack that changed the dynamics of the tiny coal mining village of Cedar Hollow, West Virginia forever.

Thirty years after the brutal attack, living in solitude on top of Crutcher Mountain, Billy May discovers the hideout of a young girl - a girl who just happens to be the daughter of one of the boys who attacked Billy May so long ago. No one knows better than Billy May the telltale signs of abuse, and she must quickly make a decision. Will she withdraw into the solitude in which she has lived since the horrific attack, or will she risk everything to save the girl from a similar fate? In spite of the heartbreaking incidents that take place in the novel, the book is ultimately a tribute to the resiliency of the human spirit and a celebration of the beauty of second chances.

Underneath it all, Appalachian Justice is also a powerful love story, though certainly not a conventional one.

©2010 Melinda Clayton (P)2013 Melinda Clayton

What listeners say about Appalachian Justice

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Backwoods and Backwards are Two Different things!!

If you could sum up Appalachian Justice in three words, what would they be?

Here's their story.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Appalachian Justice?

Hard to say without giving away story line. I wish I could have heard more about the Polly character though.

What about Lee Covington’s performance did you like?

Lee delivers the presence of a mountain person without making any of them sound ignorant (except for the ones that ARE ignorant!).

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Actually I did listen to it in one sitting, one a day of travel! The stories move between characters and make you feel that you are mixing it up quite a bit. If you are going on a long car ride or several planes, this would be a perfect read!

Any additional comments?

This book was a recommendation from a friend and I am so grateful for it!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Appalachian Justice

Unexpected Heroic story about the cruelty of some horrible men who attacked women. This story made me emotional, but I am so glad that I read it!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A harrowing story of grit and determination.

Such a great performance and a story that sadly is a true reflection of life for many women in the mountains of Appalachia.

Looking forward to the next chapter.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Listener Beware!

Sometimes, you read a book that really gives you mixed feelings. For me, this is one of those books.

First of all, I think that the author/publisher should have a prominent statement in the blurb for the book warning people of the content. Anyone who has suffered domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse or rape could have a very hard time with this book. Even though I have not personally had to deal with any of this (Thank God!), I found myself greatly disturbed by some of the content.

At the beginning, I enjoyed learning about Billy May's life growing up in the mountains of West Virginia in a small mining town. The author definitely painted a picture and I was reminded of one of my favorite books, "To Kill A Mockingbird" with Billy May's childlike view of the area.

But, as I got further into the book, I found myself having a hard time with the story. The author jumped between three different time periods, which made it hard to follow at times. Also, there were a lot of characters, some with similar names, which added to the confusion. Then, when jumping from time to time, you had young girls that were named, then after they married, of course their names changed. This might not be a bothersome when reading a physical book, but it was confusing in an audiobook. I realize that the author was trying to slowly build up to the climax of the story, but I really don't like flashbacks in my books or movies.

I won't go into detail about the story, but I did find it hard to believe that a whole town would be so dimwitted and spineless when it came to the events that were hinted at in the book. "Something" happened to Billy May when she was about 14 years old and she just disappeared. Even though she didn't have any family, what about all the other kids and their parents? Wasn't anybody bothered by her disappearance?

Then, we have the local Doctor who overlooks the domestic abuse that his secretary/assistant is obviously suffering. Then, we find out that he is secretly in love with her? Give me a break!

The chapter that focused on Mr. Smith, the owner of the general store, nearly drove me crazy. Each and every time the man talked or was talked about, the author called him, 'Mr. Smith". We got it......"Mr. Smith" must have been used at least 100 times in this chapter (if I had a physical book, I would have counted).

When a few people finally take off their blinders to what has been under their noses for 30+ years, I expected a prolonged, detailed ending. However, the author instead rushed this part of the book and I was left wondering why. And, a law enforcement person was mentioned, but nobody ever bothered to involve him in the situation?

There were some poignant, heartfelt moments in the book, which is why I kept listening. But, after the wonderful beginning, I was disappointed in the whole story. The narrator did a great job with the various voices and accents, but some of the male villains were pretty over the top.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Must listen

This was a very good story. Once I purchased it I read or listened every chance I got. I usually prefer reading over listening if the story is good--it's faster. This book I MUCH preferred listening. The narrator brought the story alive and developed the characters with voice nuances and inflection I would have missed by reading...she was amazing. The book itself is rich with knowledge and understanding of human nature and it's spectrum from pure evil to immense caring. The "pure evil" was a little hard to read and hear--it was told with stark yet descriptive terms and pulled no punches. The story has an Appalachian setting but is in no way Southern gothic, as one reviewer stated "backwoods is not backward." Many modern stories about this area show most characters to be a bit on the shady side. Not so with this book, it showed triumph over evil in a realistic way. I do think the epilogue went on a bit too long. I have to forgive this because had it ended where I see appropriate, I would have been left wanting more which is always the sign of a good story. I will be looking in to more work from this author and this narrator.

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a wonderful story

these characters will forever be a part of my life. Thank you to the author and narrator

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This book could have been amazing.

Usually I say that a book could have been shorter, but this one should have been much longer. I think with more character development and exposition as well as more in-depth storylines, it could have been amazing. This was a difficult book to read (the tragedies that happened to the women of the book), but I feel stronger having read it.

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Loved this book.

I'll start with the fact that I cried practically thru the entire book. The level of violence against these women broke my heart. It's very tough to listen to. But the story is beautiful .

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Great read

Loved the story . She got way of life right on . Billie Mae was a great character .

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One of the best books I've listened to this year.

Where does Appalachian Justice rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Top ten.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Appalachian Justice?

When she almost died prior to Jessie's arrival.

What does Lee Covington bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Her accent was spot on for the setting of this book. It truely, brought the story to life.

Who was the most memorable character of Appalachian Justice and why?

The main character is a person I would like to be. Kind, compassionate with out being sugary sweet. But there are so many other's who also where great. The store keeper, the best friend. The nurse Starlett. This is a must read or listen book.

Any additional comments?

I finished this book in tears. I didn't want it to end and felt I was loosing friends. I sent a face book friend request to the author so that I might inquire about future books. She is so real and kind. I bought this audio at a special price and feel like I stole the best listen I've had this year

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  • Crackdown
  • 01-02-14

Not your typical lesbian story - it is superb!

This is NOT your average lesbian story. It is much deeper and meatier than most stories out there. There is no 'typical' girl meets girl, a dance ensues and finally they get together. This is the view of one woman's life in a time and place where being gay was frankly awful, so don't expect the basic love story that seems to have flooded the lesbian market, but you won't be disappointed if you take a chance on the book.

A word of warning though. If you have issues with a history of abuse, especially CSA, then this story could be VERY triggering in places.

That aside, if you can deal with the subject matter, then this is a story that tugs at the heartstrings right until the end.

I wasn't sure how I would find the story dipping between three main periods in history. In fact it works out well, and doesn't become confusing to the listener.

This is a superb story, well written with a good understanding of the aftermath of childhood abuse. The narrator does a good job, especially as she has to deal with local dialects and word usage. As somebody who comes from a place where there is a deep pride with our own local dialect I am always fascinated by word use in other places. Don't mistake dialect in the story for poor grammar, it is not the same thing. In fact, it takes a skilled author to work dialect into a story so well.

If this isn't a triggering subject matter, then take the time to listen.

This story is certainly near the top of my favourite list, if not at the number one position.

3 people found this helpful