Gray Mountain by John Grisham
(Doubleday, 2014, 384 pages)
Gray Mountain is the latest novel by John Grisham. Gray Mountain is set in 2008 during the housing market collapse. Brooklyn lawyer, Samantha Kofer, and hundreds of others are laid off from their high paying jobs in a big New York City law firm. The firm offers to pay Samantha’s health care for a year if Samantha will work for free as an intern at a free legal clinic. Samantha finds herself working for a free clinic run by Mattie Wyatt in Brady, Virginia in the heart of Appalachia. In Brady, Samantha is in an entirely different world. It is a world of strip mining coal and the hardships that the coal companies cause.
Gray Mountain has many interesting characters. Besides Samantha and Mattie, there is attorney, Donovan Gray, and his brother, Jeff. There is Mrs. Crump who owns one of the mountains and doesn’t want her children to inherit it. There are clients with black lung disease. And then there is Mrs. Tate who lost her two boys when a coal mining operation sent a boulder crashing down the mountain and into the trailer where her boys were sleeping.
Gray Mountain is a good read, but I felt the book left some unfinished business. While a sequel isn’t needed, I hope that there is one. For me, the first half of the book flew by. In the middle of the book, I got a big surprise. By the end of the book, I was thinking is this really where the story ends? This is not my favorite John Grisham book, but I’m glad that I read it.