This is the second John Grisham book I've read recently (given to me by a friend) and Gray Mountain didn't disappoint. Having worked in the legal field for many years, I'm always a little intrigued with how a case can change depending upon the competency and clout a lawyer might have.
Gray Mountain is set in the coal country area of Virginia. I remember British historical books that touched upon the horrible lung diseases contracted by the miners in Wales and other locations. It's awful that this is still continuing with long work hours and coal companies fighting to dis-allow benefits coal miners are entitled to. On top of the problems with coal dust, left behind is a toxic waste sludge that is dumped behind badly built dams and seeps into pristine lakes and rivers.
But Gray Mountain isn't about mining underground it's about strip mining where the coal companies remove tops from the beautiful Appalachia mountains to reach the coal seams below.
The year is 2008 and Samantha Kofer's career at a huge Wall Street law firm is on the fast track - until the recession hits and she is downsized, furloughed and escorted out of the building. Samantha, though, is offered an opportunity work at a legal aid clinic for one year without pay, all for a slim chance of getting rehired.
In a matter of days Samantha moves from Manhattan to Brady, Virginia, population 2,200 in the heart of Appalachia, a part of the world she has only read about.