Donated Book – Now available at Samuels Public Library
Front Royal Women's Resource Center and Royal Oak Bookshop co-sponsor donations to Samuels Public Library that are by or about women. Nan Hathaway, Book Donation Sponsor & Coordinator, chooses our books each year. Thank you Nan!
We highlight one of these books every third week each month. Our 2019 Book Reviews and Commentaries are provided by JoEllen McNeal. Thank you JoEllen!
Amity and Prosperity: One Family and the Fracturing of America
By Eliza Griswold
Stacey Haney is a local nurse working hard to raise two kids and keep up her small farm when the fracking industry comes to her hometown of Amity, Pennsylvania. Intrigued by reports of lucrative natural gas leases in her neighbors’ mailboxes, she strikes a deal with a Texas-based energy company. Soon trucks begin rumbling past her farm, a fenced-off drill site rises on an adjacent hilltop, and domestic animals and pets start to die. When mysterious sicknesses begin to afflict her children, she appeals to the company for help. Its representatives insist that nothing is wrong.
Alarmed by her children’s illnesses, Haney joins with neighbors and a committed husband-and-wife legal team to investigate what’s really in the water and air. Against local opposition, Haney and her allies doggedly pursue their case in court and begin to expose the damage that’s being done to the land her family has lived on for centuries. Soon a community that has long been suspicious of outsiders faces wrenching new questions about who is responsible for redressing their ills. The faceless corporations that are poisoning the land? The environmentalists who fail to see their economic distress? A federal government that is mandated to protect but fails on the job? Drawing on seven years of immersive reporting, Griswold reveals what happens when an imperiled town faces a crisis of values – and a family wagers everything on an improbable quest for justice.
This deeply researched and beautifully told story exposes the terrible human costs of fracking but it’s also about so much more. It’s about community and our country and what holds it together and tears it apart. It’s about our nation’s fractured struggle to balance a need for energy with a compelling call for a clean planet.
Eliza Griswold is the author of The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches from the Fault Line Between Christianity and Islam, which won the 2011 J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize. Her translations of Afghan women’s folk poems, I Am the Beggar of the World, was awarded the 2015 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation. She has held fellowships from the New American Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and Harvard University, and in 2010 the American Academy in Rome awarded her the Rome Prize for her poems. Currently a Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University, she lives in New York with her husband and son.