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The Sock Monkey Doll by Peggy Callison

The Sock Monkey Doll

by Peggy Callison

242 pages
An Appalachian woman's journey through unwritten, but boilerplate, cultural rules.

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Category: Fiction:Literary
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About the Book
Not a narrative for children: The Sock Monkey Doll is based on a true story about "Hittie" who struggles with a boilerplate, yet unwritten, code that prescribes her life in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia. Her story begins in 1904 and introduces a large family, genteel and respected in idyllic North Tazewell, a small town primarily created by the N&W Railroad for the purpose of transporting black energy from the coalfields to the Norfolk shipyards. Hittie learns her "place" in the local social hierarchy and the limits of her gender very early.

At eleven, Hittie's world is shattered when older sister Kate is raped and becomes pregnant. Only she and "Beulah," the family's housekeeper and confidante, know Kate's secret. In the 1900s, rape was always the victim's fault and an unacceptable reason for pregnancy before marriage. Kate's choices are few and hard.

Always her father's favorite, Hittie is groomed to attend the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music to become a concert pianist. At the Conservatory, she falls in love with her German professor. However, the novel's time frame covers Germany's drive to power, and hatred for anything German is paramount, especially for Hittie's father. If she marries Frank, she will be disowned.

It is a tale of bigotry, betrayal, courage, determinism, and unconditional love. The Sock Monkey Doll focuses on life for women living in a culture immersed in absolutes.



About the Author
Peggy Callison Living in the Appalachian Mountains, Peggy Callison wondered what stories they could tell. What visions had they seen? Wanting to record those stories, she earned a Master's Degree from Middlebury College in Vermont. Presently, she is a veteran teacher still living in the mountains and still listening to their secrets.



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