By: Teri M. Brown
Publisher: Atmosphere Press
Publication Date: January 23, 2023
Reviewed by: Kathy Stickles
Review Date: December 13, 2023
Author Teri M. Brown has given readers an amazing, multi-generational, family story that should not be missed. It is a story that will take readers to another time and place as they watch the McCoury ladies fight with each other as they also fight to survive in the Appalachians while facing many issues, such as racism, unexplainable illnesses, local customs, and family disagreements.
Daughters of Green Mountain Gap follows the lives of three very interesting and very strong female characters. There is Maggie McCoury, the local healer who relies on herbs and flowers and a strong belief in Cherokee medicine. She is known as the town’s granny woman. There is Maggie’s daughter, Carrie Ann, who does not believe in her mother’s method of healing and so she went to school to become a nurse. All Carrie Ann wants is to change the town's view from her mother’s herbs and chanting to one of science. And finally, there is Josie Mae, Carrie Ann’s daughter, who loves her mother but has been raised by her grandmother and believes that Maggie’s way of healing is the right one and she wants to be just like her.
As the reader watches, these three ladies attempt to help the townspeople while they fight amongst themselves about what is really right and wrong. Although the people surrounding them do not like the Indians, nor do they believe in any of their customs and rituals, they do believe in Maggie and prefer calling on her for help even after Carrie Ann comes back as a nurse and brings a real doctor with her for the town. This causes much pain and fighting between Carrie Ann and her mother as Daniel, the new doctor in town, envelops many of Maggie’s beliefs and goes against his own nurse in her opinions, siding with her mother on many occasions. The fights between Carrie Ann and her own daughter are just as severe as Josie Mae believes in her grandmother and, while she also studies the science of medicine that her mother uses, Josie Mae accepts that many times her grandmother is the one on the right side. This in turn leads to bad feelings between this mother and daughter as Josie focuses on the Indian traditions more than her mother’s scientific ways.
Daughters of Green Mountain Gap is a fantastic story that covers such an interesting period of time in our history and shows, in an honest and very well-written way, the huge chasm there is between science and true faith when attempting to help people. Teri M. Brown is a great writer and the pages of this book will just fly by for the reader. With such descriptive writing, the reader can really feel as if they are there in this Appalachian mountain town or in the Cherokee village where Maggie travels once a year to continue learning from the tribe.
The thing that makes this story so mesmerizing, however, are the three ladies of the McCoury family. Each of these women holds so strongly to their beliefs and the family dynamics come across as very authentic. It is apparent to the reader that, even when these women are fighting for their own principles against each other, there is a love between them that comes through on the pages. Everything about the characters makes you care about them for who they are and what they believe.
Daughters of Green Mountain Gap is an outstanding book and I would highly recommend it to all. I was extremely impressed with every aspect of the writing and firmly believe that Ms. Brown has an incredible hit on her hands with this story. I cannot wait to see what she does next as I have become a huge fan.
Quill says: This is a book that is filled with amazing family dynamics covering three generations of women and every bit of it is written perfectly. Daughters of Green Mountain Gap is one that should be on everyone’s must-read list!
For more information on Daughters of Green Mountain Gap, please visit the author's website at: www.terimbrown.com