40 Acres and No Mule
In the late 1940s, Janice and Henry Giles moved from Louisville back to the Kentucky hills, where Henry had grown up and where his family had lived ... Show synopsis In the late 1940s, Janice and Henry Giles moved from Louisville back to the Kentucky hills, where Henry had grown up and where his family had lived since the time of the Revolution. With their savings, the couple bought a ramshackle house and forty acres on a ridge top and set out to be farmers like Henry's forebears. This is the personal account of their first year in the Appalachian hill country. Mrs. Giles, a city woman, soon experienced the trials of settling in the country: farming the barren land, digging a well, building a fireplace, cultivating a vegetable garden, canning on hot summer days, and grading tobacco in the bitter cold. She also came to know and understand the proud, generous people who were her neighbors. In describing these people, she employs the same warmth, humor, and observation that characterize her novels, and she brings to this account a deep appreciation of their old, established ways. In 1967, when the book was reissued, Janice Holt Giles added a prologue to 40 Acres and No Mule. In it, she relates her experiences to the nation's view of and interest in Appalachia, comments on her growing understanding of the role of religion and the strength of family ties in the area, and offers conclusions on the character of the region - and how that unique character has been affected by the outside world, particularly through television. Enlightening and evocative, personal and universally pertinent, this description of a year "of backaches, fun, low ebbs and high tides, and above all a year of eminent satisfaction" will be welcomed by Janice Holt Giles's many readers, old and new.