A family saga that takes place in Appalachia, this debut novel by Amy Greene follows the story of the Lamb women—Byrdie, Clio, Myra, and Laura—from the Depression to the present day. Poverty, folk culture, and the often harsh conditions of Appalachian life color the loves, hatreds, and losses of the Lamb family; for these women, circumstances beyond their control—and some poor decisions of their own—lead to one unhappy ending after another. About three quarters of the way through the book I almost put it down, it was just so depressing. Though Greene has a flair for physical description, I really felt a sense of place, even though I have never been to Appalachia, too many characters and frequent shifts in point of view throughout the entire novel led to some confusion. It was too tragic to be pleasurable, but somehow I couldn’t give up on it.