Pick Your Poison

Becky Hatcher Crabtree
Fathom Publishing Company (2018)
ISBN 9781888215359
Reviewed by Carol Hoyer for Reader Views (01/19)

“Pick Your Poison” by Becky Hatcher Crabtree is the third of a series continuing with Stella and Jonas Akpik, a middle-aged newly married couple living in the mountains of West Virginia. In the prior books, Stella has to deal with her evil brother Timmy Lee a murderous, conniving con-man. Given no one knows whether Timmy Lee is alive or not, Jonas and Stella continue to enjoy married life on their inherited farm. Just when things seem to be going smoothly, and Jonas is considering retirement, their property is deemed eminent domain so a major natural gas pipeline can be built through their property.

Given what readers know about Stella, this isn’t going to happen without a fight. Stella is passionate about her causes and shows a take-no-prisoner attitude. Many on the mountain are against the pipeline but are living a low-income life, and those whose farms have been in their family for generations want to fight but fear big brother will win.

Stella and friends stage a sit-in in a tree to keep Mountain Top Pipeline workers from destroying their property. Even though the judge prepares an injunction order, Stella is not going out without a fight. I loved Stella, with her passion and spunk. Very few people today will go to the lengths she does to make a point.

The author has done an exceptional job of inviting readers into Stella and Jonas’ life on the mountain. Readers will find themselves in their kitchen canning, plotting and planning. The vivid descriptions of down-home, true-to-life living come alive through the author’s experiences in her own life. Reading “Pick Your Poison” brings back memories of living on a farm with my own family, where life was much simpler yet at the same time presented its challenges and excitement. It is a fun read, filled with twists and turns that keep readers engaged.

I highly recommend “Pick Your Poison” by Becky Hatcher Crabtree for the entertainment, challenges and hope inspired to find that “spunk” we often lose.