****Unbroken Circle****

Book description written by author:

Unbroken Circle: A Story of Faith and Family in Appalachia is set in Appalachia, of course---specifically western North Carolina and Eastern Tennessee. The book weaves my recollections from the 1950s and 1960s--when our family regularly visited what I thought were our "hillbilly" relatives--into a broader story that begins two hundred years earlier with their ancestors' migration from Europe to the United States and ultimately to North Carolina and Tennessee. With a backdrop of historical, cultural, and religious influences, the book probes the Scots-Irish and German identities that these ancestors exhibited in the hollows of Appalachia. And as the title suggests, the book focuses on individuals who best exemplify devotion to faith and family.

Nearly eighty photographs help tell the story, the oldest of which was taken in the late 1800s. You'll see pictures and read the story of handsome young Gus, for instance, who was my grandmother's favorite older brother who was gunned down at a country store near Tellico, Tennessee, on the eve of his enlistment into the Army during World War I. At age sixteen, my grandmother helped wash and dress Gus for burial, a deed she remembered and spoke of until she died at age eighty-three.

And there's Maggie, my father's grandmother, whose children were claimed one by one by tuberculosis. And there's the story of the unexpected unearthing of a can of gold on property my great-grandfather was plowing for a garden.

Unbroken Circle begins with a child's leery fascination with this Appalachian culture, and evolves into an honorific that recognizes the talents, intelligence, and sheer determination of this unique segment of American culture.

Comments by Ron Thompson:

When I read this book written by my cousin I found it to be very well written. Whereas most of my research and that of others displayed on my web site deals with finite details and historical documentation, Valerie writes her book in a style that makes these individuals very personal and highlights the emotional trials and triumphs of these people. She never said it in her book but I will tell you that the current generation of those descendants still includes those honorable men and women who farmed and worked as carpenters but now includes a very high number of their children who are doctors, engineers, lawyers, ministers, and other professionals. Valerie also never said it in her book but she and her own siblings have been and still are very active in the ministry as well. That stands out to me as the stamp of integrity that migrating ancestor William Thompson from Edinburgh, Scotland passed on to his descendants. It is a physical testimony in real life that one person taking a stand can matter and his offspring PROVE IT.

Although this book is written specifically about a group of families who are interlinked by marriage, it could pertain to any of those same Scottish and German immigrants who came to America seeking for spiritual freedom and the right to prosper from their own labors. Today, that stands in stark contrast to the border jumpers and criminals who come to America to exploit its resources. Maybe this book will be inspiration for the children of these original immigrants to TAKE A STAND FOR RIGHT THINGS.

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The price of this book is $13.95 plus shipping.
To place an order by phone: 706-795-5225 or fax: 706-795-2205
To place an order by mail send to:
Ray and Valerie Cearley
330 Corey Drive
Danielsville, Georgia 30633

Phone number is 423-334-5301. To contact via U. S. mail use address:
% James Ronald Thompson
2124 Upper Concord Road,
Ten Mile, Tennessee 37880