TTP Review of GRAY MOUNTAIN by John Grisham

We’ve all heard the expression. Ignorance is bliss. That saying is about as cliché as it gets but sometimes has the disturbing ring of truth. I was reminded of that recently when I read Gray Mountain by John Grisham.

Strip mining is bad. You heard it here first, and I was able to draw that stunning conclusion without ever giving any thought to the actual subject matter.   I did not, for example, fully understand exactly what the practice entails or how it’s conducted. I likewise had no way to comprehend the devastating environmental, ecological and human repercussions. If, like me, you live hundreds of miles from where any strip mining takes place, you can perhaps forgive my ignorance.  If you want warmth, you adjust the thermostat. If you want light, just flip the switch. The miracle of energy is right there at your fingertips. There’s really no need to think about where it might come from, or how obtaining the resources necessary for energy production can be a life or death gambit.

Gray Mountain_Grisham   In Gray Mountain, Samantha Kofer, a young New York real estate attorney, becomes a casualty of the financial crisis of nearly a decade ago. She loses her job, and ends up signing on with a non-profit legal aid clinic in Virginia. In doing so, she’s forced to relocate to a rural town with fewer residents than her big city firm had lawyers. At first, Samantha wants nothing more than to serve her time and get the hell out of there. Then, things get complicated. She gets to know the people she represents. They are all poor and most have, in one way or another, been screwed over by the coal industry. She also learns how powerful the coal companies are, and how far they will go to protect their interests. Many are made to suffer; others die and there doesn’t seem like there’s much hope anything will ever improve. I’d tell you more but I don’t want to give too much anway. This is definitely one you should read for yourself. The story is incredibly compelling in typical John Grisham fashion. Really, my only complaint was that there was no author’s note at the end. I was really hoping to learn what event or events inspired him to craft such a tale. Alas, I was left to wonder.


If you like what you’ve read, please subscribe to this blog or my Wishful Thinking blog. Visit, or find me on Facebook and Twitter @Micsova. Also, please pick up a copy of A Shot at Redemption, and look for my new suspense novel, Parlor City Paradise, due out in 2016.

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