Signs, superstitions, remedies and cures. The first book in Lynn Coffey's five-book series about Virginia's Appalachian culture, Backroads; Plain Folk and Simple Livin' gives readers a look into a disappearing way of life that has served generations of mountain people well. The book contains thirty-one chapters ranging from digging ginseng, churning butter, old time recipes, beekeeping, early burial practices and handmade coffins as well as in-depth interviews with six elder native people of the Blue Ridge Mountains. With endorsements from Earl Hamner, Jr., creator of the Waltons, and Jan Karon, author of the popular Mitford series, Backroad is a testament to the tenacity and resilience of the hearty Scots/Irish immigrants born and raised in the isolated hollers deep in Virginia's hazy blue mountains. Reminiscent of the Foxfire books, Backroads; Plain Folk and Simple Livin' captures the essence and spirit of those who chose a hardscrabble way of life over the confines of city living. A must read for those longing for a simpler way of life and a modicum of self-sufficiency.
About the Author
As a young girl growing up along the gold coast of Florida, Lynn always had a Waldenish bent toward the old ways and longed to live a simplistic lifestyle in the mountains, far from the flatlands of her home. Her dream came true in 1980 when she moved to the tiny hamlet of Love, in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Realizing the elderly neighbors living around her and their unique culture was slowly ebbing away, Lynn thought there must be a way to capture the existing Appalachian lifestyle before it disappeared altogether. With no prior experience in journalism, she began publishing a monthly newspaper called Backroads that chronicled the customs and activities of the native mountain people she had grown to love; the people who mentored her and taught her their ways. Backroads carved out a folksy niche, having a twenty-five year run before Lynn retired in 2006. But the mountain people's pleas, "Don't let our stories die with your retirement", compelled Lynn to start writing five books about the vanishing and oft-misunderstood people of her area. Lynn's first book in the Backroads series, entitled Backroads; Plain Folk and Simple Livin', records many of the early customs as well as interviews with six mountain elders living in the vicinity of Love where the author makes her home. All five books may be viewed on Lynn's web-site at www.backroadsbooks.com. Lynn is happily married to Billy Coffey, a rugged native of Love, Virginia, who is also a Baptist minister and they continue to live the simple life on their mountaintop farm. They have five children, six grandchildren and welcomed their first great-grandchild in December of 2015.