The Saints of Swallow Hill by Donna Everhart is the kind of historical fiction I love. Set during the Great Depression in the South, this tale has rich characterization, a vivid setting, and research that blends seamlessly with the story.
Delwood Reese has a bad habit of going after married women. On one occasion, when his boss catches him with his wife, and after receiving a near-death punishment, Del decides it’s time to move on. He slowly makes his way south to a turpentine camp called Swallow Hill.
Meanwhile, in North Carolina, Rae Lynn Cobb lives with her clumsy husband, Warren. Together, they operate a small turpentine farm. The work is dangerous on its own, but it is even more perilous because of Warren’s reckless actions. His clumsiness eventually backfires on him, resulting in a grave injury. This disaster forces Rae Lynn to make some hard decisions, and she elects to leave her home disguised as a man. With her new name Ray Cobb, she makes her way south to the same camp where Delwood has recently arrived. Both will witness the racism and physical abuse that occurs at these sorts of camps.
Review of The Saints of Swallow Hill
The Saints of Swallow Hill captured my attention from the very first page. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about this one, but the characters are so well-developed that I couldn’t flip the pages fast enough. Some of these characters will likely stick with me for some time to come. Del, Rae, and a few others go on a journey of self-discovery, of learning to trust and to love.
This is the first time I’ve read Donna Everhart, and I look forward to reading more from the author.
My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Expected Publication: 25 January 2022
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