Donaldson, Joan. On Viney’s Mountain
Holiday House 2009 231p 16.95 978-0-8234-2129-9 hs
When Englishmen buy up land and start to clear the land for a town, Viney, a talented weaver wants to find a way to stop the progress. Along the way she learns about herself and finds love. In the Tennessee Appalachian mountains, Viney, a very talented weaver, lives with her older brother and sister. As she is gathering herbs and plants for dyes, she sees a group of English gentlemen clear cutting of a section of forest. She wants to find a way to stop the coming of the town and the destruction of her beloved forest. Her sister goes to work in the town and Viney considers her a traitor. As Viney interacts with the foreigners to try to find their weakness, she meets two young men and pretends to let them court her. Along the way she discovers she has feelings for one of them. He wants to be able to buy land before making a commitment, so they head their separate ways.
This book is based on the real community of Rugby built in in the 1880’s. Several buildings survive and can be visited. Viney is a weaver and weaving terms and the process are features throughout the novel. There is an extensive glossary of both mountain terminology and English terms used to give an authentic feel to the narrative. Also included are web sites about the town of Rugby and weaving.
This book gives a good historical picture, well researched, but also includes mountain lore, weaving, and a love story.
It is an excellent read for high school students. Joan Theal