3.5 stars, rounded down.
This was one I wasn't sure I was going to get through. A slow start for me. Not because it's a bad book or poorly written, it's just not the type of literature I typically pick up. The reason this particular book was interesting to me and I worked my way through it, was because it's set in a coal mining county in Kentucky. My mom's family lived(s) in West Virginia in a coal town, we still have a family house one of my cousins lives in - in a town called Coalburg. Go figure. I was fascinated by the coal parts of the story and pulled in (eventually) by the relationships. This book is very much about relationships and it's beautifully done. There is a lot of sadness and multi levels of tragedy. The writing is fluid. It's also a good book for readers interested in gay rights in small towns (this took place in the 1980's).