A Novel
by Roger Alan Skipper

Chase Road/July 2015

Trouble comes to Oralee as regularly as the mail. Unlucky in love, she struggles to raise a baby she loves more than life itself, she tries not to hate her deadbeat husband more distinguished by his absence than his support, she does what she can to endure the condescending good-intentions and even outright hostility her vulnerability attracts from the people of the town. And when necessity forces her to attend to her husband’s antagonistic father - the only family she has left – she grabs for it as the only salvation open to her.

Oralee’s vibrant efforts to overcome her circumstances reveal a character as charismatic as any in Skipper's remarkable novels. Her voice, her spirit, her humor, and as often her astonishment and wonder at a world so beautiful and at once so difficult give this novel a singular emotional charge. Oralee sticks with you after you put the pages down, and her pains and heartache, and her pride and her joy are ours to share.

About the Author

Roger Alan Skipper has been a potato picker, mason's tender, amusement park worker, roofer, building contractor, lumber and commodities buyer, and manager of a retail building supply outlet.

At the age of 48, shortly after paying his youngest son's final college tuition bill, he walked away from his career in the lumber and building industry to pursue a college degree of his own. He graduated summa cum laude from a four-year school and received the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Graduate Fellowship, which propelled him through the graduate writing program at Vermont College.

To keep his hands callused and his mind tidy, in addition to his writing, he's a luthier of professional-quality acoustic instruments (www.skipperstrings.com). He lives with his wife Connie near Oakland, Maryland. There he also plays bluegrass music and wanders around in the forest of Appalachia, where he has not yet lived his entire life. His novels are set in this landscape, in fictional Union County, West Virginia.