Troylyn Ball and her husband, Charlie, an engineer and real estate investor, had spent their entire lives in Texas. But after a near fatal trip to the emergency room with their mute, wheelchair-bound son Coulton, they admitted the dust and the heat were too dangerous. To save their boys, the Balls cashed out, sold their beloved farm, and moved to Asheville, North Carolina.
Nearing fifty, Troy thought her chance at adventure had passed. But in this booming little Appalachian Mountain city of hippies, farmers, artisans, and retirees, she unexpectedly discovered a support network and something she’d never had in twenty-five years of providing round-the-clock care for her special needs boys: the freedom to pursue her own dreams. She struck up a friendship with a legendary eighty-year-old raconteur from the mountains, met his friends, and soon found herself in a rickety country shack with an ingeniously inventive retired farmer trying to create the best recipe ever for traditional mountain moonshine.
But when the real estate bubble burst and the collapse of her husband Charlie’s new venture in Asheville left them deeply in debt, Troy realized her ten-year business plan for Troy & Sons Platinum Whiskey wasn’t enough. If she was going to save her family—and she was definitely going to save her family—she needed to become the most successful woman in the legal whiskey business. And she needed to do it fast, before the bank took her house, her business, and everything she’d worked so hard to achieve.
Full of eccentric characters and charming locations—from a "haunted" cabin in the mountains to the last farm in the world to grow heritage Crooked Creek corn—Pure Heart is a charming story of a woman who set out to find a purpose in the most unexpected of places, and ended up finding happiness, contentment, and a community of love and respect.
In this earnest, heartfelt memoir, Ball, assisted by Witter (Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World) tells of a midlife decision to resettle her family. Ball and her husband, Charlie, learning to leverage assets and always looking for the next investment, made a comfortable life for themselves in Austin, Tex. When both of their sons were born with severe disabilities, Ball stayed home to care for them and found ways to keep her industrial spirit intact. But after years of ER visits for their boys from dust and heat, the family sold off everything and started over in Asheville, N.C. Barely settled in to their new Appalachian home, the family attempted to recreate the success they enjoyed in Texas. With more comprehensive resources from the area to help with her sons, Ball found herself with time to begin a project of her own. While her husband worked on his dream project of developing land, Ball took to a new hobby distilling whiskey. Utilizing newfound friends, research and grit, Ball became the first person in 80 years to apply for a distilling license in western North Carolina, and six weeks later she was the first woman in North Carolina (and the fourth woman in the U.S.) federally permitted to distill hard liquor. Her celebration was cut short however when her husband told her a few weeks later that they were broke. Ball's Southern charm shines in her memoir as she shares her family's successes and failures. She never asks for sympathy for the choices they made that led to their financial demise and ultimate perseverance. The histories of Asheville and distilling are woven throughout and add depth to her memoir.