Dunedin Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute

Book: Demon Copperhead (November 2022) – Athenaeum Book Club 2023

By Barbara Kingsolver

November 27, 2022

Demon’s story begins with his traumatic birth to a single mother in a single-wide trailer, looking ‘like a little blue prizefighter’.  For the life ahead of him he will need all of that fighting spirit, along with buckets of charm, a quick wit and some unexpected talents, legal and otherwise.

In the southern Appalachian Mountains of Virginia, poverty isn’t an idea, it’s natural as the grass grows.  For a generation growing up in this world, at the heart of the modern opioid crisis, addiction isn’t an abstraction, it’s neighbours, parents and friends.  ‘Family’ could mean love – or reluctant foster care.  For Demon, born on the wrong side of luck, the affection and safety he craves is as remote as the ocean he dreams of seeing one day.  The wonder is in how far he’s willing to travel to try and get there.

Suffused with truth, anger and compassion, Demon Copperhead is an epic tale of love, loss and everything in between.

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