Monday, September 27, 2010

The Spine of the Virginias by Michael Abraham

The Spine of the Virginias
By: Michael Abraham

This book is about the counties bordering Virginia and West Virginia. Michael Abraham talks to people and records their stories here. You will feel a connection to the people portrayed here, as well as learn the history relative to each area. Whether you are from this area or not, you will be drawn in by the stories of hope, faith, love, and loss.
I loved this book! Reading about how West Virginia was formed, learning Mountain Lake Hotel’s original purpose, capturing the history of coal mining, and getting Dreama Denver’s (Bob Denver’s wife) perspective on West Virginia keep you turning the pages.
Sis and Ivan Puffenbarger owned a sugar-maple business. As you read their story, you will be cheering them on, and then crying with them. You will experience Grundy’s dilemma with flooding, and see how they are coping and revitalizing. The most poignant section of the book is Michael Abraham’s insight to McDowell County, West Virginia.
I came away with two quotes from the book that really spoke to me. One is “Education is the key to achievement”. The other appeared on the last page, “Tough times don’t last. Tough people do”. Throughout this book, these quotes are expounded upon and brought to light. Some of the people included in the stories went on to college, but came back to the area they were from. All faced hardships, but read how they persevered. When you finish this book, you will still be thinking about it.