When Stephanie Kadel-Taras talks about her home state of West Virginia to people in her current hometown of Ann Arbor, Michigan, their reaction is predictable: "If it sinks in that I'm talking about a different state from Virginia, and which state that is, their faces suddenly change like they're thinking 'You grew up in that place of inbred hicks and barefoot children and black lung? How did you make it out of there?'"
In this thoughtful mix of memoir and social history, Stephanie asks "How can I get back there?" Weaving seamlessly between past and present, Mountain Girls features the lifelong friendship of two girls from Elkins, West Virginia, whose resilience, humor, and creativity shape unexpected lives. Inspired by stories from other West Virginia women, they learn what generations of Appalachians have long known - it's up to you to make the life you want. Through irreverent and poignant tales of beans and cornbread, forest clear-cuts, cold-time music, Scots-Irish tempers, and sex after Sunday school, Mountain Girls will make you long to be a hillbilly...or praise-the-Lord-and-pass-the-moonshine if you already are.
About the Author
Stephanie Kadel-Taras, PhD, lives in Ann Arbor with her husband, dogs, and cats. She writes life stories and organizational histories through her company, TimePieces Personal Biographies.