A story of the lives of three women, tightly woven together and surviving the harsh societal environment of an Appalachian mining town in the early to mid-1900s. Two religions contrast with each other—the Cherokee spirits of the native people and the Old Testament God of the white settlers—as each woman struggles to find her place. Love and hate, marriage and adultery, childbirth and abortion, all have their parts to play. Beloved Mother accurately portrays the evilness in humanity, in which the wicked corrupt the innocent to create a vicious cycle of abuse, until one person—with a heart of understanding and forgiveness—has the courage to end it.
“A haunting, slow-burn intergenerational family saga.” – Kirkus Reviews
“Hunter’s unforgettable historical novel focuses on the circumstances that warp some personalities and strengthen others.” – Foreword Clarion Reviews - 5 out of 5 Stars
“Beloved Mother is a compelling journey.” – BlueInk Review
"Laura Hunter has poured her heart and soul into the pages of Beloved Mother. Her talent and her passion are present in every scene, every chapter, every image, every line. There’s magic in this book!"
— Michael Knight, author of Eveningland (2017 Okra Pick)
"Beloved Mother is an adventure story about three generations of daring women. Hunter tells us that “women have within them so much love and so much hate they sometime confuse the two,” one of the many mysteries about this fast-paced novel that will keep you wondering."
— Denton Loving, author of Crimes Against Birds
"Language and scene set the stage for a journey through time with three women . . . connected through blood and passion, each bound to follow her own path toward self-discovery. Though Beloved Mother spans nearly forty years, the story is interwoven tightly. The characters are compelling in their struggles to find love and a meaningful place in the world, and the action never flails. . . . Hunter has created a believable world inhabited by authentic characters, a world the reader willingly enters and leaves reluctantly only when the last page is read. "
— Connie Jordan Green, author of The War at Home
"Beloved Mother is the kind of rich story that brands itself in memory. I can still see the mining camps, smell the scents of the woods and mountains, and recall the unique people, entwined with the land, their histories, and each other."
— T. K. Thorne, author of Noah’s Wife: 5500 BCE (Winner of “Book of the Year” for Historical Fiction)
"Looking for riveting characters, an evocative setting, and a plot so filled with twists and turns that you’ll want to hang on for dear life? Look no further than Laura Hunter’s Beloved Mother."
— Jennie Ivey, author of Tennessee Tales the Textbooks Don’t Tell
"Beloved Mother, Laura Hunter’s debut novel, is both inventive and lyrical. This mythic tale unfolding at the crossroads of what is real and might be real will surprise time and again. "
— Darnell Arnoult, author of Galaxie Wagon (Winner of the 2017 Chaffin Award for Appalachian Writing)
Customer ReviewsSee All
Different. A story with strong themes of a hard life lived by many a family. Almost haunting in its weaving of the sisters lives together. Not an enjoyable read, but a good, solid book.
Appalachian family drama
Beautifully written by a retired educator turned writer, published poet which one can feel reflected in this tome. I really enjoyed the poetic prose and the tender stories of the diverse characters populating this tale. Appalachia is not an easy life nor does she present it as such. The hardships make sense under the conditions lived in the timeframe presented however. I can recommend this book highly!
The Great Spirit was here.
Deep breath. If you read this book you will be privileged to enter into the magic of words that can hit your heart. Laura Hunter’s prose and poetry grabbed my eastern Kentucky heart and did not let go.