Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Jess Montgomery | Places that feel like home (even when, technically, they’re not)
Author Guest / January 14, 2019

My novel, THE WIDOWS, is set In 1920s Appalachia, specifically in the Appalachian foothills of Ohio. It was inspired by Ohio’s true first female sheriff in 1925, Maude Collins, who became sheriff after her husband was killed in the line of duty. Lily, my main character, likewise becomes sheriff after her husband dies in the line of duty, but here, the story diverges into fiction. In Lily’s case, no one is sure who killed her husband, Daniel, and Lily doesn’t buy into the “escaping prisoner” explanation. As she investigates, she meets a childhood friend of Daniel’s, Marvena. This novel is not a love triangle, but Marvena, as Daniel’s oldest friend, knows a lot about his background that Lily doesn’t, that Daniel kept from her. Likewise, Lily knows a great deal that Marvena doesn’t. Together, they solve the mystery of his murder, save their community from disaster, and in the process, grow as individuals and become friends. So, since they live just miles apart, how do they not know each other? Appalachia is challenging terrain, even today with good roads in many areas. In 1925, it would have been difficult to travel from one hill or holler to the other, especially…