Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Over Paradise Ridge

In her novel, Over Paradise Ridge, Maria Thompson Daviess speaks through one of her characters about the beauty and importance of Tennessee farm life:

"It’s this way, Betty.  That valley you are looking down into has the strength to feed hundreds of thousands of hungry men, women, and children when they come down to us over Paradise Ridge from the crowded old world; but men have to make her give it up and be ready for them.  At first I wasn’t sure I could, but now I’m going to put enough heart and brain and muscle into my couple of hundred acres to dig out my share of food, and that of the other folks a great strapping thing like I am ought to help to feed.  I’ll plow your name deep into the potato-field, dear,” he ended, with a laugh, as he let go my hand, which he had almost dislocated while his eyes smoldered out over the Harpeth Valley, lying below us like an earthen cup full of green richness, on whose surface floated a cream of mist."

Daviess wrote about the people of middle Tennessee, and her writing is filled with optimism, romance, concerns of the day, domesticity, rural life, and a celebration of 'salt of the earth' Tennesseans.  You can find many of her works online, where they can be read for free.

Enjoy!
Elizabeth 

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