Wednesday, July 4, 2007

A Sense of Place...

A Heart in Tennessee

Maggie at Maggie Reads is not only sponsoring the Southern Reading Challenge, but she added a contest for those of us participating, to pick out a passage from our Southern reading which depicts "sense of place" and post a picture to go with our passage.

Very easy when it comes to the book I've just finished for the challenge, Lee Smith's Fair and Tender Ladies (Ballantine Reader's Circle).

The main character, Ivy Rowe, is a child when she writes the first passage, in a letter to a pen pal (spelling and grammar are entirely her own, and later in the story, as she gets older, become more standard):

My Chores are many but sometimes we have some fun too, as when we go hunting chestnuts away up on the mountain beyond Pilgrim Knob which we done yesterday, Victor taken us. Daddy loved this so but he cant go no more as he is sick.
We start out walking by the tulip tree and the little rocky-clift ther on Pilgrim Knob where the chickens runs but then we keep rigt on going follering Sugar Fork for a while, you get swallered up in ivy to where it is just like nigt, but direckly you will come out in the clear. You will be so high then it gives you a stitch in your side you have to stop then and rest, and drink some water from Sugar Fork which is little up there and runs so gayly. And so you go along the footpath where the trees grow few and the grass is everywhere like a carpet in the spring but now in winter the grass is all froze and you can feel it crunch down when you step, you can hear it too. We was having a big time crunching it down. When the sun shined on it, it looked like dimond sticks, a million million strong.
Later, as a grown woman, Ivy walks to the top of the mountain near her home for the first time, with an illicit lover:

He took my hand then and led me on through the flowers, over onto another path which stopped at the very edge of the mountain, on top of the highest cliff. From where we stood, we could see for miles. I thought I could see Sugar Fork but I couldn't be sure, there was lots and lots of hollers, and I saw them all, valley after valley, ridge on ridge, Bethel Mountain beyond--but now for the first time I could see over top of Bethel Mountain to another mountain, blue, purple, then mountain after mountain, rolling like the sea. It was so beautiful. A single twisted pine grew bravely up out of the rocks before us. Mile after mile of empty air stretched out behind it, the sky so blue, the sun so bright. And the wind, which kept on blowing all the time--now I recalled the famous endless wind on the top of Blue Star Mountain.

The picture here (which is a little small, sorry...)is of the beautiful Appalachian mountains Ivy lives in and talks about...

A Heart in Tennessee

14 comments:

Maggie said...

Just looks like Blue Star Mountain! Great job and thanks for participating! :D

Gentle Reader said...

maggie--I'm enjoying it :) And it's making me want to visit those mountains, they're so beautiful.

Robin said...

What a beautiful photo, and the passages from the book make me want to read it. I've never read any Lee Smith! Must be time...

Gentle Reader said...

robin--I'd never read any Lee Smith before this, either, but I'm glad I did! She was one of those authors I had heard about forever, but just hadn't picked up...

Dewey said...

Gorgeous photo, small or not! And what a nice passage.

Gentle Reader said...

dewey--thanks, I liked the photo, too! I found several really great Appalachian mountain photos on the web.

Lesley said...

Ooh, thanks for the reminder! I just read a couple books for this challenge and meant to find a suitable picture.

Beautiful photo - the Appalachians are just gorgeous.

Gentle Reader said...

lesley--you're welcome for the reminder. It was nice looking for photos to match the book, I'm glad Maggie posted the contest.

MyUtopia said...

Great quote!

Gentle Reader said...

myutopia--there are so many really beautiful passages in this book, it was hard to choose something :)

iliana said...

Oh beautiful picture! And, congrats on finishing one of your challenge books. I just started reading one yesterday. I need to go look for some pics :)

Gentle Reader said...

iliana--thanks. This whole challenge thing is new to me. I'm already behind on the non-fiction five, but I am reading madly to catch up :)

Eva said...

I love the name Ivy-when I was little I wished it was my name. :) Thanks for sharing the passage and the picture...I've always wanted to visit the Appalachians. They seem so gorgeous!

Gentle Reader said...

eva--I know, the pictures I came across made me want to visit the Appalachians, too. And I like the name Ivy, too. It really fit this character somehow :)