Praise For The Secret Wisdom of the Earth

John Hart bestselling author of Down River, The Last Child and The King of Lies

"Christopher Scotton's debut effort defies easy description. Contemplative one minute and racing the next, it swept me to the last page and left me there with a single thought: Atticus Finch meets Deliverance. Highly recommended."

Natalie S. Harnett author of The Hollow Ground

"One of the characters in Christopher Scotton's The Secret Wisdom Of The Earth is described as having a voice that was gifted from God, but Scotton's own voice could easily be described as such. In language that will stun and amaze with its remarkable beauty, he tells of the joys and griefs of the people of a rural Kentucky county and the devastation of its landscape by strip mining. A novel epic in story and wisdom, and all told through the deeply moving voice of the main character, Kevin, who has a heart as vast as the Blue Ridge Mountains he so loves."

Jill Hendrix, Fiction Addiction (Greenville, SC)

“This fabulous Southern debut novel is set in Kentucky during the 1980s, at the height of the coal mountaintop removal mining; it is a beautifully moving coming-of-age story with a touching grandfather-grandson relationship.”

Kathy Ashton, The King's English Bookshop (Salt Lake City, UT)

“Kevin's father blames his wife and surviving son for the death of his younger son, Josh, loudly and often, then dumps them both on Pops, and stomps off. Pops seems directly descended from the much beloved Atticus Finch, of "To Kill a Mockingbird"—wise, kind, funny, tolerant, loving. Aware that Kevin needs the assurance that well-done work offers, Pops asks him to be his assistant. Kevin excels in his new job, and suddenly life seems good again Wise too in the ways of nature, Pops decides to take Kevin and his new buddy Chucky into the wild, to the one place he has loved since he was a boy. They set off on an adventure evocative of Deliverance in its rough danger. This wonderful novel may remind readers of other coming-of-age tales, but THE SECRET WISDOM OF THE EARTH stands alone. Bravo, Mr. Scotton, your gorgeous novel will be an instant classic. I loved it.”

Jake Reiss, Alabama Booksmith (Birmingham, AL)

“Thank you for letting me know about this warm, brilliant intense, wonderful book. I never start a book without finding out as much as I can about the author. In this case, I jumped in and read it in two nights, having no idea who Christopher Scotton was, or what he had previously written. I'm going to start over tonight and re-read to harvest a half-dozen or so gorgeously created sentences to use in promotion, as well as digesting more symbolism to accompany the amazingly addictive story.”

Steve Marz, Sales Manager, Hachette Book Group

“In my 23 years with this company, I have read thousands of the books we have published. I’ve liked many, hated a few, loved some, and only truly adored two. The first was “Lives of the Monster Dogs”, about a dozen years back. The second is “Secret Wisdom of the Earth”. It has everything going for it – the writing is brilliant, the story is compelling, the characters are real. This is a coming of age story. There are those who will say this is a gay book, but it is so much more than that. It’s a book about understanding people, valuing people for what they do, not what they are."

Sarah Bagby, Watermark Books & Café (Wichita, KS)

“Christopher Scotton's novel, THE SECRET WISDOM OF THE EARTH, is riveting, set against the backdrop of a fading mining town in the south covers three generations of mine owners, their laborers, and a close community on the verge of change. I recommend this book to anyone who needs a smart book about fathers and sons, sexual identity and communities, land rights or preservation, appreciation of the sky and forces of nature, learning how to fish, or the difficulty journey of healing from loss. Reads like suspense, evokes emotion like tragedy, and in the end, is thoroughly satisfying. Perfect for book clubs, airplanes, or on a night you don't want any sleep.”

Annie Philbrick, Bank Square Books (Mystic, CT)

“A beautiful and emotionally captivating work of prose set in the Appalachian coal town where everyone knows everyone else's business and has for generations past. I read this novel in just a day and a half, feeling like I knew these characters by the end and left wanting more. Loss, love, the power of friendship and the ties that bind whether you want them to or not, THE SECRET WISDOM OF THE EARTH will teach us all something about human compassion, resilience and the power of family.”

Adrian Newell, Warwick’s (La Jolla, CA)

“WOW-Such a beautiful story...This is the real deal-reminds me a bit of Run with the Horsemen by Ferrol Sams.”

Wanda Jewell, Exective Director of Southern Independent Booksellers Association

“It is a beautiful book. I loved it. I read it non-stop in five hours and was transported to another time and place and then back to today. I loved the friendship between Buzzy and Kevin, the kinship between Kevin and Pops, the romance between Paitsel and Paul. I was horrified by the Budgets and the Boyds. I'm reminded that progress often costs us in people's lives and our very homelands. And when it is all said and done we only have one another.”

Nancy Simpson-Brice, Book Vault (Oskaloosa, IA)

“THE SECRET WISDOM OF THE EARTH was a pure joy to read and savor. Kevin, at age 14, arrives with his mother at his Grandfather's house in a struggling coal town deep in Appalachia. He quickly builds two intense friendships: his Grandfather "Pops," and Buzzy, a rough-and-tumble boy from the hollows nearby. Kevin and Buzzy embark on an unforgettable summer. They learn how senseless violence is, how far-ranging its consequences. Companion stories of Kevin's family problems and of the conniving coal baron add to the richness of this novel. Much of this tale reminded me of the 1980s book/movie, Stand By Me. Highly recommended!”

Tracy Rush, The Country Bookshop, (Southern Pines, NC)

“THE SECRET WISDOM OF THE EARTH is a rich collection of life lessons and harsh realities woven into a coming-of-age story about a teenage boy's summer vacation to rural Kentucky. This incredibly descriptive and rewarding story can teach us all about the true meaning of life, friendship, family and community.”

Kathy Kinasewitz, Best of Books (Edmond, OK)

“Finished reading THE SECRET WISDOM OF THE EARTH. I loved this book as much as you. Your comparison to To Kill a Mockingbird is a good one. I loved the character development as the story line captivated my attention. I loved the description of the land and the history of the family. I can't wait to share my copy with my staff so they will be able to hand sell this title as well. Now to find something else to read which will be as good...will be a hard task.”

Angie Tally, Country Bookshop (Southern Pines, NC)

“At once an insider's view into the dark underbelly of coal-mining Kentucky, a Coming-of-age story and a nod to the incredible healing power of land, THE SECRET WISDOM OF THE EARTH is a hauntingly beautiful story from debut author Christopher Scotton that fans of Wiley Cash and Ron Rash will quickly devour and will then stick with them long after the last page is turned.”

Janet Geddis, Avid Bookshop (Athens, GA)

“Scotton's book is a completely engrossing coming-of-age novel that reads like a classic from page one. It's literary fiction with an astoundingly wide breadth in terms of characters, plot, and language. The only thing I'd changed about this book? Its title (and perhaps the cover art, too): I feel like many readers who are meant to have this book will be turned off by the title and design. TRUST ME: read it.”

Dan Radovich, Barnes & Noble (Naperville, IL)

“I read this book twice, giving it a few days to settle in before the second read. So many coming of age stories just fly by as you read them, nothing special about the tale, character or writing. Christopher Scotton can stand proudly among Harper Lee, Leif Enger, John Knowles, John Irving and Mark Twain, to name a few. Scotton has captured everything perfectly in this story. Characters are believable. The sights, sounds and smells of Medgar, KY reach out from the pages. The actions of the time ring in your memory. This WAS life in Appalachia. Kevin and Buzzy are two characters that stand out thanks to Scotton's brilliant prose. So many young readers today are not picking up Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, for fear of the works being 'so old'? Here is a story that evokes emotion, reaction, wonder. A story of friendship and one that mirrors America in its day just like Twain. A classic for our time, just like Twain.”

Joyce Platfoot, Haverford Township Free Library (Havertown, PA)

“The best book I've read all year.”

Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On FacebookVisit Us On Linkedin