Karen Spears Zacharias has carved a brilliant gem of a novel out of hard, uncompromising times and lives. Her remote mountain setting conceals misery, mystery, and madness -- but also love, which comes in many forms. Zacharias examines these intertwined lives with great compassion and daring; she is a wonderful writer.
-Lee Smith, author of Guests on Earth
Karen Spears Zacharias captures the humor, spirituality and language of Appalachia with stunning authenticity, through characters that leap off the page. With Mother of Rain, Zacharias has done her part to help preserve our mountain heritage for future generations.
-Amy Greene, author of Bloodroot
"Maizee Hurd was an easy target for hard times," according to Burdy Luttrell, the town healer. Burdy is a Melungeon woman with striking features and mysterious ways who owns the land the Hurds leased following their marriage on June 3, 1940.
Maizee moved upriver at the age of ten after tragedy struck, and she was sent off to be raised by a childless aunt and her doctor husband. Shortly after Maizee's arrival in the rural mountain community of Christian Bend--carrying only a small suitcase, her mama's Bible, and her doll Hitty--the young girl began hearing voices.
It was the tender love of her husband Zeb and their shared passion for the Appalachian hills and rivers of East Tennessee that helped quiet the voices. But, as Zeb prepares for deployment, Maizee's life is rocked by the ripples of World War II. Despite the love that carried her through the birth of their son, Rain, and the boy's subsequent illness that rendered him deaf, Maizee can't silence the demons in her own head.