In a forgotten part of Middle America, a defiant act leaves one man dead and one teenage girl faced with a stark decision that could mean losing everything.
Amy Wirkner, a high school senior in Barnesville, Ohio, is a loner, nicknamed “Chevy” for her size. She’s smart, funny, and absolutely determined to escape from her small town in the Ohio Valley, a place poisoned by fracking. She does well in school despite the cruelty of her classmates and has her eyes on a college scholarship, so she can one day become a veterinarian and make something of herself.But even as she tries to keep her head down and stay out of trouble, trouble seems to find her. Believing toxic water has poisoned her family, Amy one night becomes involved in an act of ecoterrorism against a local fracking company that goes terribly wrong. Her oldest friend Paul, as angry and defiant as she is, has drawn her into this dark world—and now a man is dead as a result. But Amy can’t—won’t—let one night’s mistake stand in the way of her plans.Touching on important topics as wide-ranging as ethnic hatred, police corruption, environmental decay, and gun violence, Lady Chevy is one girl’s story that highlights the darkest parts of modern America with surprising results.
Amy Wirkner, the 18-year-old protagonist of Woods's relentlessly bleak debut nicknamed Chevy for her wide backside is desperate to escape Barnesville, Ohio. Her mother openly cheats on her father, her "deformed" baby brother suffers mysterious seizures, and her family is destitute, despite selling their land's mineral rights to a company whose fracking poisoned their well. Amy dreams of being a veterinarian, but without a college fund, she must hope for a scholarship. After carving a swastika in the school bathroom to try and make herself feel powerful (like her KKK Grand Dragon grandfather), Amy vows to maintain a low profile, but then her friend and crush, Paul McCormick, comes knocking. Paul's father has black lung disease, and Paul wants to punish the mining industry by bombing a chemical tank with Amy as his getaway driver. When the plan goes awry, Amy must contemplate how far she'll go to protect her own future. Using stark imagery and evocative prose, Woods paints an unflinching portrait of small-town brutality and despair. Tension climbs as the cops close in, but the deeply unsympathetic cast leaves readers uncertain for whom to root. Fans of Appalachian noir will be well satisfied. \n