Monday, December 12, 2022
Posted By amy @ 8:49 am | No Comments
Look Unto the Land
by George Rollie Adams
Publication Date: August 22, 2022
Barn Loft Press
Genre: Historical Fiction
Series: Small Town Race Relations, Book 3
A Riveting Story of Love, Hate, Greed, and Thirst for Revenge in an Oil-Drenched 1920s Southern Boom Town
When Henry Grant returns home from WWI, he finds his family decimated by violence, death, and debt. He blames it all on one man and aims to make him pay.
In 1922, Henry follows the fellow from Indiana to Berrytown in southern Arkansas, site of the nation’s latest oil boom, a good place to hide and a hard place to search. It’s overflowing with lease hounds, roughnecks, drillers, bootleggers, and gamblers. Crime is rampant, and the Ku Klux Klan is gearing up against booze, prostitution, and Black people.
Meanwhile, Mary Dutton, a near-destitute Berrytown widow with a twelve-year-old son, is struggling to survive. The owners of the pharmacy where she works are forcing her to sell marijuana, cocaine, and heroin under the nose of federal agents.
Otis Leatherwood, a farmer who is Mary’s uncle, likes moonshine and is unaware of the drug traffic. His problem is with the oil. He believes drilling is ruining the environment, and he’s willing to risk everything to stop it. Even though his best friend and Black neighbor Isaiah Watson sees it as a means of escaping bigotry in the South.
As Berrytown grows apace and oil blackens the land, each of them faces life-changing decisions.
“A captivating tale of love and hate that captures the essence of the time with skill and authenticity.” – David F. Rankin, President Emeritus, Southern Arkansas University
“Brings a little-known period of history alive with characters that move in a world as dark as the oil-field setting.” – Gerald George, past director, American Association for State and Local History
“A meaningful tale of loss and love told with page-turning style.” – Celeste Schantz, Editor, Mason Street Review
“A carefully plotted and well-paced story about issues of deep relevance today, including environmental justice and racism.” – Timothy W. Kneeland, Chair of History, Politics, and Law, Nazareth College
“Mystery, romance, industrial expansion, environmental degradation, race relations, and more—all woven into a masterful tapestry of daily life in the rural South.” – Susan Asbury, Assistant Professor of Public History, Middle Georgia State University
“A vivid picture of one of Arkansas’s most tumultuous periods.” – Samantha Bynum, past curator, Arkansas Museum of Natural Resources
About the Author
George Rollie Adams brings a storytelling background, historian’s eye, and educator’s passion to historical fiction about the Jim Crow and Civil Rights-era South.
A native of southern Arkansas, he creates authentic characters, writes true-to-life dialogue for them, and puts them in settings and plots inspired by real places and real events.
A former teacher, biographer, and museum director, Adams has lived and worked in Nashville and New Orleans and resides currently in Western New York’s picturesque Finger Lakes Region.
His novels South of Little Rock and Found in Pieces have received ten publishing awards for historical, regional, social issues, and race relations fiction. Together with his latest novel, Look Unto the Land, they form the Small Town Race Relations Series.