Mediocre books are so much easier to review. It’s simple to point out the weak spots. Excellent books are harder. It’s difficult to believe this is a first novel. Leah Weiss’ place on my list of favorite authors is fixed. The story of the people who live an a small Appalachian community in the 1970s has a secure place in my memory. I usually hate books that are written in dialect. One book that broke through this prejudice was These Is My Words. This is another. The author uses dialect with a light hand, and it’s not intrusive. Each character is so unique and well described that he or she lives in my memory. I can even dredge up some (not much, but some) for the abusive husband. At the heart of the story is the freakishly tall, flatlander teacher, who comes to the mountain. She finds she has as much to learn as to teach. All the characters are real and shine so brightly, I hated the book to end. I recommend this book highly and look forward to others by Ms. Weiss.