Monday, May 9, 2016
Running on Red Dog Book Review
Running on Red Dog Road and Other Perils of An Appalachian Childhood is an interesting read. The story is set in the 1940’s.The author, Drema Hall Berkheimer’s memoir of her childhood in West Virginia won first place in nonfiction in the 2010 West Virginia Writers competition.
The book starts with Drema’s account of how her father lost his life in the coal mine when she was just five months old. To make ends meet her mother travels to New York to find work. The author’s grandparents come to stay with her and her older sister. She has a brother that is deaf and lives at the West Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind.
Her Grandfather is a devout Pentecostal Minister. This colors her life with church revivals, “The Rules”, Grandmother’s belief that you shouldn’t ever draw attention to yourself and lots of prayer. However, once in awhile she has a chance to do some things like playing cards with her Methodist best friend-hoping her grandparents won’t find out.
There are stories about her encounters with gypsies, snake handlers, hobos and moonshiners. The stories are charming and keep you wanting to read more. She draws you in and you almost feel like you are right there with the family. I enjoyed reading it also for the historical background of the time around World War II.