With deceptive simplicity, author Holman links two completely disparate worlds: impoverished 1940's Appalachia and today's New York City, as she traces the fears and fortunes of the Alley family. Cora Alley, a mountain witch woman who slips from her skin and literally rides men raw in the night; her young son Eddie, who glimpses a wider world of not only fears when he meets two WPA artists, Tucker and Sonia; the casual brutality that passes for survival in the mountains. And in present-day Manhattan, Wallis, Eddie's newsmaker daughter, lonely and fear-filled as she cuddles with an almost-total stranger after opportunistic sex. A mesmerizing read for those who like slowly-unfurling tales and beautifully crafted words. A 5.