Fiction about Madison County

Jerry Jacover

“fast paced and funny but deeply touching ” — Scott Turow


Jacover wrote this tale as a result of a visit to Madison County in 2003. He tells the story of a couple who are looking for property but discover secrets on that land. A curse that traveled through generations from the arrival of their ancestors to the area is an interesting saga of generational struggles of the conflict between two families. Along the way, the story tells of the shaping of the Appalachian culture reflecting Jacover’s love for it. Book on Amazon

Ron Rash

“Top-notch story of an unusual place” — Publishers’ Weekly

“mournful Appalachian music of… eloquent prose” — New York Times

THE COVE (2012)

Rash, the New York Times bestselling author, sets this novel in a back cove near Mars Hill just as the World War is ending. The central character Laurel Shelton is a woman whom the people in the area believe is a witch. Her brother has come home from the war with a missing hand creating a challenge in his farm work. Other war elements are introduced with the character of Chauncey Feith and his “patriotic” actions in the county. The story is a mix of the effect of war on the men and the community as well as a love story when Laurel encounters a stranger in the woods. Book on Amazon 


The wonderful storyteller Rash weaves the story about seventeen-year-old Travis Shelton in modern-day Appalachia with journals of a Civil War incident—the Shelton Laurel massacre. When Travis moves out of his parents’ home to live with a onetime school teacher, the story explores outsiders’ place in a community and how the past and present can collide. The schoolteacher lost his job and custody of his daughter and has become an outsider just like Travis. The schoolteacher Leonard Shuler studies journals from the Civil War which lead to a confrontation of the events from the past which continue to divide the small community. Book on Amazon 

Terry Roberts

“Thrilling story of the clash of cultures, of mystery, espionage, revenge, and love” — author Robert Morgan


Roberts, a descendant of a proprietor of one of the grand hotels at the Hot Springs Spa, tells the little-known story of when the Mountain Park Hotel is pressed into service as an internment camp for over 2,000 German nationals during World War I. He weaves an engaging story of the lives and cultures in the small town of Hot Springs during this period of time. Book on Amazon

CC Tillery

“…family based fiction/history at its best…a story that keeps you reading, wondering, hoping…” —author Celia H. Miles


The authors’ great-aunt Bessie is the basis of this story about a woman growing up in the small town of Hot Springs, North Carolina in the latter years of the 19th century. Bessie wants to be her own person–or, as her great-grandmother put it, to be a whistling woman. The story traces her attempt to do this as three significant events happen and threaten the stability of her family and the life she knows. Book on Amazon