The Secret Wisdom of the Earth (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

The Secret Wisdom of the Earth is a beautifully written novel that explores a wide range of human emotions: prejudice, guilt, grief, and love. It is mainly the story of Kevin and his mother, Annie, who travel to Medgar, Kentucky, Annie’s hometown, to recover from a tragic accident that resulted in the death of Kevin’s younger brother and that has rendered Annie catatonic. Pops, Annie’s father, quietly and unobtrusively works to help Kevin and Annie heal. Medgar has fallen on hard times, its mines depleted. To extract every last bit of coal, a controversial process called “mountain top removal” has been proposed by the mine’s owner—a process with such grave implications for the environment, it has divided the town. 

Ultimately, The Secret Wisdom of the Earth deals with healing, whether it be the healing of the human heart, the healing of a divided town, or the healing of the earth that has been gravely wounded by man’s activitie

— From Holiday Picks 2015

January 2015 Indie Next List

“Struggling to recover from the trauma of his baby brother's tragic death, Kevin and his broken mother relocate to Medger, Kentucky, for the summer. Their return to the Appalachian coal town in which their family is deeply rooted is intended to heal them both. While Kevin's grandfather is just the person and the wild hollows surrounding their little town just the place to help him mend, Kevin finds that Medger and its citizens are in need of healing as well. Poverty, a mountaintop removal operation, and desperation are tearing their town and the land around it apart. Scotton's finely wrought characters, perfectly paced plot, and keen sense of place make The Secret Wisdom of the Earth resonate with the reader long after the book has been finished.”
— Catherine Weller, Weller Book Works, Salt Lake City, UT


"A marvelous debut...has everything a big, thick novel should have, and I hated to put it down." - John Grisham

"A page-turner." - New York Times Book Review

For readers of The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, this is a dramatic and deeply moving novel about an act of violence in a small Appalachian town and the repercussions that will forever change a young man's view of human cruelty and compassion.

After seeing the death of his younger brother in a terrible home accident, fourteen-year-old Kevin and his grieving mother are sent for the summer to live with Kevin's grandfather. In this town of Medgar, Kentucky, a peeled-paint coal town deep in Appalachia, Kevin quickly falls in with a half-wild hollow kid named Buzzy Fink who schools him in the mysteries and magnificence of the woods.

The town is beset by a massive mountaintop removal operation that is blowing up the hills and back filling the hollows. Kevin's grandfather and others in town attempt to rally the citizens against the "company" and its powerful owner to stop the plunder of their mountain heritage. But when Buzzy witnesses a brutal hate crime, a sequence is set in play that will test Buzzy and Kevin to their absolute limits in an epic struggle for survival in the Kentucky mountains.

*Includes Reading Group Guide*

About the Author

Christopher Scotton is an experienced public speaker, seminar leader, online marketer and technology entrepreneur. After a stint as a venture capitalist, he joined his third start-up, a computer-aided design (CAD) software company, where he is currently President and CEO. Scotton is a recognized expert and frequent speaker on search engine marketing, search engine optimization, social media marketing and online lead generation.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781455551927
ISBN-10: 1455551929
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: January 6th, 2015
Pages: 480
Language: English