Cynthia Rylant returns to her home state of West Virginia with this powerful and evocative collection of poems. In a heartbreaking narrative that flows like a novel, we follow Ludie from childhood to falling in love and getting married, through the birthof her own children, and on into old age. This is the story of one woman's experiences in a hard-scrabble coal-mining town, a story that brims with universal themes about life, love, and family-and all of the joy, laughter, heartache, and loss that accompany them. Would she tell you that six children were too many, that some disappointed, that others surprised, but that, all in all, six were too many and one would have been just fine. Would she tell you that she married that boy at fifteen not only because he was tall and kind but also because she needed a way out.