The Evening Hour
A NovelBook - 2012
West Virginia native Cole Freeman, who has avoided a coal-mining job by working as a nursing home aide and reselling unused prescription drugs, finds his life changing when a disastrous threat forces him to confront his fears.
Most of the wealth in Dove Creek, West Virginia, is in the earth-in the coal seams that have provided generations with a way of life. Born and raised here, twenty-seven-year-old Cole Freeman has sidestepped work as a miner to become an aide in a nursing home. He's got a shock of bleached blond hair and a gentle touch well suited to the job. He's also a drug dealer, reselling the prescription drugs his older patients give him to a younger crowd looking for different kinds of escape.
In this economically depressed, shifting landscape, Cole is floundering. The mining corporation is angling to buy the Freeman family's property, and Cole's protests only feel like stalling. Although he has often dreamed of leaving, he has a sense of duty to this land, especially after the death of his grandfather. His grandfather is not the only loss: Cole's one close friend, Terry Rose, has also slipped away from him, first to marriage, then to drugs. While Cole alternately attempts romance with two troubled women, he spends most of his time with the elderly patients at the home, desperately trying to ignore the decay of everything and everyone around him. Only when a disaster befalls these mountains is Cole forced to confront his fears and, finally, take decisive action-if not to save his world, to at least save himself.
The Evening Hour marks the powerful debut of a writer who brings originality, nuance, and an incredible talent for character to an iconic American landscape in the throes of change.
Avoiding a coal-mining job by working as a nursing home aide and covertly reselling unused prescription drugs, West Virginia native Cole Freeman halfheartedly resists a mining corporation's efforts to buy his family's land and pursues relationships with two troubled women until a disastrous threat forces Cole to confront his fears. Original. A first novel.