Under a Cloudless Sky
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Under a Cloudless Sky

Tyndale House / 2018 / Paperback

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Product Description

A novel set between 1933 and 2004 about the coal-mining town of Beulah Mountain, West Virginia, and the people who live there in danger of being destroyed by a horrific massacre of miners during a conflict between the workers and management for the sake of profit. Years later, many neighbors are forced sell their land to a coal and energy company or face rising property taxes. One man tries to keep his family legacy while a mining executive offers to revitalize the dying town paying homage to the past while positioning the company for growth at all costs.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 416
Vendor: Tyndale House
Publication Date: 2018
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 1414387784
ISBN-13: 9781414387789

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Publisher's Description

A charming and engrossing novel for fans of Southern fiction and the recent hit memoir Hillbilly Elegy about a lush and storied coal-mining town—and the good people who live there—in danger of being destroyed for the sake of profit. Will the truth about the town’s past be its final undoing or its saving grace?

1933. In the mining town of Beulah Mountain, West Virginia, two young girls form an unbreakable bond against the lush Appalachian landscape, coal dust and old hymns filling their lungs and hearts. Despite the polarizing forces of their fathers—one a mine owner, one a disgruntled miner —Ruby and Bean thrive under the tender care of Bean’s mama, blissfully unaware of the rising conflict in town and the coming tragedy that will tear them apart forever.

2004. Hollis Beasley is taking his last stand. Neighbors up and down the hollow have sold their land to Coleman Coal and Energy, but Hollis is determined to hold on to his family legacy on Beulah Mountain. Standing in his way is Buddy Coleman, an upstart mining executive who hopes to revitalize the dying town by increasing coal production and opening the Company Store Museum. He’ll pay homage to the past—even the massacre of 1933—while positioning the company for growth at all costs.

What surprises them all is how their stories will intersect with a feisty octogenarian living hundreds of miles away. When Ruby Handley Freeman’s grown children threaten her independence, she takes a stand of her own and disappears, propelling her on a journey to face a decades-old secret that will change everything for her and those she meets.

Editorial Reviews

Fabry (War Room) captures the political and social climate of an Appalachian mining community in this evocative novel set between 1933 and 2004. Beginning in 1933 with the budding friendship between young girls Ruby and Bean (one the daughter of a mine owner, the other the daughter of a miner), the story leads up to the horrific massacre of miners during a conflict between the workers and management that defines Beulah Mountain for generations. In the present day, the people of Beulah Mountain are being forced to sell their land to Coleman Coal and Energy or face rising property taxes and even more hardship, as it seems the energy company and government are working together. When the company store is converted into a museum, Ruby, now in her 80s, is invited to its opening as an honored guest. She has no intention of returning until an argument with her kids convinces her to finally confront her past in order to overcome it. While her kids believe that it’s time for her to lean more on them, she is determined to be independent and, after hearing a sermon about forgiveness, she heads back to Beulah Mountain, leaving her worried kids behind. Fabry weaves the events of the past and present into a finely layered story exploring the relationships of faith, forgiveness and family in the midst of healing from pain buried deep in the past.
With part of the story taking place in 1933 and the other half in 2004, Fabry’s latest is a multilayered, engaging story with rich details and interesting characters. Thanks to the historical coal-mining backstory, Under a Cloudless Sky should appeal to both readers of Southern historical fiction and inspirational fiction. Fabry offers readers some surprising twists as he slowly weaves the two stories together. Some savvy readers may be able to guess where the story is going, and others will be shocked as reveals are made. Under a Cloudless Sky is entertaining and a wonderful addition to the inspirational fiction genre. Rating: Four stars

Product Reviews

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  1. ksnapier
    Lima, OH
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    This book will keep you intrigued until the end
    February 3, 2018
    ksnapier
    Lima, OH
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This novel tells how a town's past can bring it down or save it. Set in Beulah Mountain, West Virginia, in 1933 and in the present. In the past, there are two girls who make a vow. Ruby and Bean come from two different homes. One is the daughter of the mine owner and the other is the daughter of a mine worker. Both girls are looked after by Bean's mother and they do not know about the conflict that is coming.

    In the present, Hollis Beasley has decided he is going to hold onto the legacy which his family left him on Beulah Mountain. His friend Buddy Coleman, however, want to increase the coal production of the town and open a museum. He wants to share the entire history of this town, including the 1933 uprising. He also will do this without care for anyone else.

    These two stories come together through an elderly woman who lives miles away. The children of Ruby Handley Freeman want to take away the life she knows, so she disappears. While she is going she discovers a secret which will effect her and those who come across her path.

    This book kept me on the edge of my seat clear until the end. It is so well-written that I felt like I was int he midst of the story from beginning to end. There is suspense throughout. I look forward to reading other works by this author in the near future.

    I was given this book by Tyndale in exchange for my honest review.

  2. reli
    WI
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Excellent book as are all of Chris Fabry's
    January 29, 2018
    reli
    WI
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Chris Fabry is an author whose writings I scarf up every chance I get. He is definitely on my list of top ten authors to read. That poses an interesting thought: who else would I put on my top ten list? Anyway, that's for another time and place.

    It seems like a lot of Chris' books take place in West Virginia and this one is no different. The story goes back and forth between the year 1933 and 2004. It chronicles the unlikely friendship of two young girls, one the daughter of the mine owner and the other the coal miner's daughter.

    It's a story of sacrificial love, truly laying one's life down for the sake of a friend. It's a story of forgiveness, forgiving yourself for what you have done. It's a story of learning to love well, the main character's children tended to be a bit over protective, basically in an effort not to inconvenience themselves. It's a story of how the truth can set you free and even set others free.

    I don't want to say a lot more because I don't want to spoil the story. Let's just say there are some unexpected plot twists that I didn't see coming until just before they happened and which added an excellent dimension to the story.

    While the story is not true, I think it certainly could be. A few things that sparked the story: a picture of Chris' dad and uncle in front of a coal mine, the fact that his mother refused to go back to where she grew up in West Virginia and the fear they had for their mother to drive as she got older. There were also some rumors about abuse that occurred in some mining communities. While the veracity of such claims has been challenged, it certainly seems believable. And the last thing that contributed to this story is Chris' radio show and how older people will confide long held secrets and the relief they feel once they share those things.

    If you ever have a chance to pick up a Chris Fabry book, do it. I have read at least ten of his books, I believe and every one of them have been worth picking up. So make that your New Year's Resolution to read at least one of his books this year. As far as a favorite? I'm not sure. Not in the Heart was my first introduction to his books I believe and it was excellent. War Room is the book equivalent to the movie, also really good. Borders of the Heart is probably my least favorite, that might be easier than trying to decide my favorite.

    Anyway, I received this book from Tyndale and was not required to write a positive review.
  3. vics49548
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A Must Read!
    January 28, 2018
    vics49548
    Quality: 0
    Value: 0
    Meets Expectations: 0
    Dual time periods have become quite popular, and since I've gotten used to this style of writing I really enjoy it. Author Chris Fabry takes us from 1933 to 2004 and back very skillfully.

    I will say it took me a couple of chapters to get into this story, but once I did I couldn't put it down. Expertly written, with interesting history woven throughout, Fabry's storyline is quite remarkable. His characters are well developed and intriguing.

    The thread throughout this book reminds that us that, according to the Bible, truth sets us free. Secrets will always affect our lives adversely. It also addresses the need to forgive so you can move on in life.

    Full of twists, turns, and winding roads, this book climaxes to a surprise ending that I truly didn't see coming. I highly recommend it!

    I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.
  4. Cricket
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Delightful Story With Surprises Until the Last Pages
    January 22, 2018
    Cricket
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Independence meant everything to Ruby Handley Freeman. Living on her own in Biding, Kentucky, and driving herself to the store and her hair appointments were things she knew she was capable of doing despite her eighty some years. Baking cakes for folks, listening to gospel music, and good preachers made her heart happy despite the death of her husband a few years ago. She especially loved to listen to one preacher named Franklin Brown, but a recent message about forgiveness had caused her mind to start replaying some things from her childhood in Beulah Mountain, West Virginia, things she had never told a soul.

    This is a story you wont want to miss. Chris Fabry's writing will bring the reader right into the story as Ruby makes her cakes, faces her children, and takes off in her old Town Car for the trip to Beulah Mountain.
  5. Rick
    Middleburg, FL
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Reviews From a Man's Perspective
    January 20, 2018
    Rick
    Middleburg, FL
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    New book by Chris Fabry? Yes, I think I will pick it up and spend the weekend reading this one. Thank you very much!

    Ill admit that Im not a big fan of books that flip back and forth from one time period to another. Heck, I dont even like watching shows on TV that go back and forth like that. For this book, though, it really worked and I was able to stay with the story line without getting lost (thats saying a lot of me). Theres always something about a new Chris Fabry book that envelopes me when I sit down and crack it open. The story flows, the plot is flawless and the characters are flawed but redeemed in the end. Throw in a great twist at the end of this book and you have something that will make you GO BUY THIS BOOK!!!

    Is this a "guy's book"? I wont say that this is a must read for any guy, but I will tell you that you will have missed out on a terrific story if you dont pick this one up.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion, as part of their Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
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