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Monday, January 11, 2016

Book Review : 'Gray Mountain' by John Grisham



Well, it has been some time, so I will get right down to it. John Grisham’s novel, (it’s not new; I’d say it’s been more than a year, but I got down to it) ‘Gray Mountain’ is definitely not an excellent read, neither is it a bad one.

So, let us get to the story. It starts off with Samantha Kofer, who until the recession hit, was a rather well to do lawyer. She works commercial real estate at a law firm in New York. After the recession, she is given a pink slip and asked to find her way.

And this takes her to much smaller Appalachia, where she is now an unpaid intern in a legal aid clinic. Now, she has to solve real cases and deal with real people. She works under Mattie Wyatt, who runs Mountain Legal Aid Clinic, which provides free legal advice to clients who cannot afford to really pay up.

And in between all this, she meets Donovan, also a lawyer, who is hit by the corrupt coal industry and now wants to pay them back. He feels the best way to fight them is by suing coal companies, which are known for surface mining.  

Basically, these companies hit a mountain; break up the coal seams, taking most of the coal and leaving them literally bare.The worst thing that the companies do is wash the coal, which in turn makes a black sludge. This sludge, in turn destroys the livelihood in its path, whether it be schools, forests or wildlife. Samantha gets a quick lesson on the coal industry. As she settles in to the laid back life of Appalachia, she is also struck by most of the cases in town. Most of the cases are indirectly hit by the coal.

She is suddenly struck by the goings on of this little town. Samantha quickly gets a crash course in the business of coal. One of the first people she meets is private lawyer Donovan Gray, who has several big-time lawsuits filed against various coal companies.

The fact, that she and Donovan become fast friends and then as the story progresses, she meets and becomes involved with Donovan’s brother, Jeff does not exactly help the situation. Thanks to this, she gets more and more involved with the coal cases. Her own client has the black lung disease from a coal company he works for, as well.

As the story goes on, one sees a death and the lives affected by it, include
John Grisham
Samantha’s as well. She finds out that the Krull Mining Company was one of the companies, whose pages were stolen from a lawsuit against them. These stolen documents are a huge part of the story, and what they would come to be remains to be seen.

Okay, firstly the story has no end. If one reads about the cases, they do see several folks affected by it. I do not exactly know how the whole thing went because I am not exactly used to a Grisham book going like this, but I guess every author has a different way of ending it. I guess that he did not see an end to this and so, that is one saga, which is left unfolded… Maybe there will be more?

You can Buy the Book right here




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