Smart bets: Christopher Scotton

Set in an Appalachian coal town, Christopher Scotton’s The Secret Wisdom of the Earth explores the fleeting splendor of nature, detailing the plight of working-class citizens who rally to stop mountaintop removal in their rural Kentucky town. The protagonist, 14-year-old Kevin — recently transplanted to the area with his family after the death of his brother — undergoes a nature-inspired coming of age just as the setting that catalyzes that awakening falls into peril. Blue Ridge devotee Scotton says his hometown on the outskirts of Washington, D.C., was also “a place of cornfields and treehouses, dammed-up creeks and secret swimming holes” at one point. He cites this upbringing as a major influence on his debut novel. The author hosts a free reading and signing at Malaprop’s on Tuesday, Jan. 20, at 7 p.m. malaprops.com. Photo by Lee Kriel Photography

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About Kat McReynolds
Kat studied entrepreneurship and music business at the University of Miami and earned her MBA at Appalachian State University. Follow me @katmAVL

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