||Pennsylvania coal country, 1955.A community struggling with economic collapse, religious differences, and an encroaching underground mine fire.A mysterious entry in a dead man's diary.A father with a troubled past.A daughter's innocent curiosity.A house filled with secrets.A debut coming-of-age story by author Patricia Hester now available.From Publishers Weekly:"Growing up in Pennsylvania coal country in the 1950's, in the mountainside town of Giant's Despair, young Molly Branigan discovers a hidden diary and begins to pursue the secret scandals of previous generations of her family in this cleverly constructed coming-of-age story set in a mining town suffering from both economic collapse and the fumes of a long-burning underground coal fire that's poisoning trees, water and people. The squabbles of family life under the stress of job loss, alcohol, religious differences and sudden death are sensitively and convincingly portrayed, as are the strong bonds that link Molly to her hard-drinking, former rail-riding father; her country-bred mother; and the diverse assortment of friends and relatives whose reluctantly-told stories aid Molly in piecing together the series of tragedies in the lives of her great-grandparents and their children. Foreshadowing both the environmental issues and the economic struggles of today, this debut unwinds slowly and effectively to a pervasively sad yet ultimately uplifting conclusion. An excellent story. . ."