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Running on Red Dog Road: And Other Perils of…

Running on Red Dog Road: And Other Perils of an Appalachian Childhood (edition 2016)

by Drema Hall Berkheimer (Author)

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295578,702 (4.36)None
Gypsies, faith-healers, moonshiners, and snake handlers weave through Drema's childhood in 1940s Appalachia after her father is killed in the coal mines, her mother goes off to work as a Rosie the Riveter, and she is left in the care of devout Pentecostal grandparents. What follows is a spitfire of a memoir that reads like a novel with intrigue, sweeping emotion, and indisputable charm. Drema's coming of age is colored by tent revivals with Grandpa, poetry-writing hobos, and traveling carnivals, and through it all, she serves witness to a multi-generational family of saints and sinners whose lives defy the stereotypes. Just as she defies her own. Running On Red Dog Road is proof that truth is stranger than fiction, especially when it comes to life and faith in an Appalachian childhood.… (more)
Title:Running on Red Dog Road: And Other Perils of an Appalachian Childhood
Authors:Drema Hall Berkheimer (Author)
Info:Zondervan (2016), 208 pages
Collections:Your library

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Running on Red Dog Road: And Other Perils of an Appalachian Childhood by Drema Hall Berkheimer



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The author relates memories from her childhood, growing up on a "red dog road" in a rural Appalachian mining town. "Mining companies piled trash coal in a slag heap and set it ablaze. The coal burned up, but the slate didn't. The heat turned it rose and orange and lavender. The dirt road I lived on was paved with that sharp-edged rock. We called it Red Dog. My grandmother always told me, 'Don't you go running on that Red Dog road.' But oh, I did." Some of the scenes were memorable - such as when she encounters a bunch on snake handling church goers during one of her walks. She also encounters gypsies, faith-healers, and moonshiners. I liked some of the stories she told but other than remembering a few scenes it didn't make much of an impact on me. I would give it to anyone really interested in the rural Appalachia region and it's people. ( )
  debs4jc | Aug 29, 2018 |
What a fascinating and intriguing childhood this author had! I loved reading her story. During her life in the Appalachian mountains she encountered and experienced vast amounts of interesting people and events, so different from my own. She was a spitfire as a child and her life was held together by her godly, maternal grandmother. The book is written in first person which adds to its charm.
I received a copy of Running on Red Dog Road from Net Galley for my honest review. I really appreciate this opportunity! Thank you, Drema Hall Berkheimer for giving us your story! ( )
  sh2rose | Sep 6, 2016 |
Don't let the fact that this is an "inspirational" memoir keep you from reading it. It's terrific. It contains family stories, religious stories, coming-of-age stories, stories about dealing with illness and disability, stories about extending love and acceptance to people of different cultures, a hilarious love story, and many other tasty morsels about a young girl growing up in the '40s in West Virginia. The extended family is led by Drema's Pentecostal grandparents, even when her mother comes home from the munitions factory after the war, and they are truly kind people, with a sharp mountain wit and a much different idea of what it means to have "plenty and some to share" than we would recognize in modern America. Reese Witherspoon should option the movie rights. ( )
  jillrhudy | May 8, 2016 |
Title: Running on Red Dog Road
Author: Drema Hall Berkheimer
Pages: 208
Year: 2016
Publisher: Zondervan
My rating is 5 stars.
I must admit that it is the cover that first drew my attention to the book, then reading the summary I was intrigued. Reading how life was for others is a favorite pastime for me, because I tend to forget that life for others isn’t a duplicate of mine. Each place and person mentioned in this biography is unique and treasured by the author and her descendents.
As I read I saw such a stark difference to the way I grew up not only because I am from a different generation, but also from a different place. Sometimes we look around us and think that what exists has always been so, but when you read a biography the light goes on inside our minds. We are reminded that life while ended for some, impacted people for generations.
I think the author does a great job sharing some of her memories and granting readers a peek into the past and at people very dear to her. I can imagine too what a book of memories might mean to those who are descendents from those who leave behind a written map. You see as we look at our ancestors we in some ways begin to understand ourselves; this is a clear point in the book.
The author is thankful to God for those who raised her and her family as a whole; they weren’t perfect, but they are hers and they are treasures. It wasn’t just family either; it was best friends who grew up together, kept each other’s secrets and reminisce even today about yesteryear. I wonder with all our electronic gadgets if we aren’t losing some of our memories because we aren’t making time to journal them for the next generation.
Maybe, like me, you will read this biography and consider writing down your memories, both good and bad so that those who come after will understand where they came from and how important your walk with God was to living life daily for Him.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” ( )
  lcjohnson1988 | May 1, 2016 |
A wonderful memoir of life in the Appalachian mountains.
Drema writes vividly of her experiences growing up with devout grandparents and meeting many disparate characters along the way.
Riveting book, very engrossing.
I was given a digital copy of this book by the publisher Zondervan via Netgalley in return for an honest unbiased review. ( )
  Welsh_eileen2 | Mar 31, 2016 |
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