Nameless, Kentucky, in 1969 is a hardscrabble community where jobs are few and poverty is a simple fact—just like the hot Appalachian breeze or the pests that can destroy a tobacco field. RubyLyn Bishop is luckier than some. Her God-fearing uncle, Gunnar, has a short fuse and high expectations, but he’s given her a good home ever since she was orphaned at the age of five. Yet now a month shy of her sixteenth birthday, RubyLyn itches for more.
Maybe it’s something to do with the paper fortunetellers RubyLyn has been making for townsfolk, each covered with beautifully wrought, prophetic drawings. Or perhaps it’s because of Rainey Ford, her black neighbor who works alongside her in the tobacco field and with whom she has a kinship—despite the disapproval of others.
RubyLyn’s predictions are just wishful thinking, not magic at all, but through them she’s imagining life as it could be, away from the prejudice and hardship that ripple through Nameless…
“A voice rich and authentic, steeped in the somber beauty that defines life in the South.”—David Joy, author of When These Mountains Burn
“Richardson’s brilliant writing made me feel as though I were transported back in time…and actually there witnessing this poignant heartfelt story.”—Charles Belfoure, New York Times–bestselling author of The Fallen Architect
“A reader always recognizes when the author has poured her soul into a body of work. [This] is a tender, beautifully written second novel.”—Ann Hite, author of the Black Mountain series