The Melody of the Mulberries: Big Creek
The Appalachian Big Creek Sequel
This Appalachian Big Creek sequel is set in West Virginia, during the 1920s, where granny witches and spiritualism often show the path for wanderers to take, especially in matters of the heart. Emerald Ashby’s younger sister, Coral, determines to visit the family’s nemesis, Charlie, now stewing in prison.
When Mercy returns to the holler of Big Creek, she comes well-armed to re-enter Ernst’s life, but he has already found a new romantic attraction. No matter, Mercy has brought along her own spiritual tools and a special friend who guides her way around this inconvenience.
“Coral sat in contemplation under a mulberry tree. It was spring, and the fragrant female blossoms promised the mid-summer arrival of first white, then pink, then crimson, and finally deep purple berries. The white berries were hard and tart and enjoyed by the quail, wild turkeys, mocking birds, and blue jays. The blackish-purple berries were soft and sweet – perfect for pies and jams.
“When the berries turned white, Coral would thank the good Lord for providing food for the birds, and when the berries ripened she would thank the good Lord for the sweetness savored in her mouth and curse the birds for wanting more than their share.”
Where Emerald Ashby’s story leaves us in the last pages of The Whispering of the Willows, her pure and innocent sixteen-year-old sister Coral Ashby’s story begins. Like the changing mulberries, the Appalachian siblings Coral and Ernest Ashby, navigate their lives and love interests through the Spanish Flu epidemic, poverty, and various as sundry prejudices.
Accompanied by friends and foes, matters of the heart complicate life for Coral and Ernest. Relationships must be journeyed carefully.
Clean reading romance, a cozy mystery tucked in at the tails, and a fun, but realistic history of the people and cultures of the Appalachian trail make this story uplifting to many varied audiences.