Meet Julia Franks, the author of Over the Plain Houses -- a spellbinding story of witchcraft, disobedience, and an Appalachian woman intrigued by the possibility of change, escape, and reproductive choice who is stalked by a Bible-haunted man who fears his government and stakes his integrity upon an older way of life.
It's 1939, and the federal government has sent Virginia Furman, a USDA agent, into the North Carolina mountains to instruct families how to modernize their homes and farms. There she meets farm wife Irene Lambey, who is immediately drawn to the lady agent's self-possession. Already, cracks are emerging in Irenie's fragile marriage to Brodis, an ex-logger turned fundamentalist preacher: she has taken to night ramblings through the woods to escape her husband's bed, storing strange keepsakes in a mountain crevice. To Brodis, these are all the signs that Irenie tip-toeing through the dark in her billowing white night shirt has become a witch.
Read more at: http://www.npr.org/2016/04/27/475021942/plain-houses-is-a-spellbinding-story-of-witchcraft-and-disobedience
Julia Franks has roots in the Appalachian Mountains and has spent years kayaking the rivers and creeks of Tennessee, North Carolina, and West Virginia. She lives in Atlanta, where she teaches literature and runs Loose Canon, a web service that fosters free-choice reading in the classroom.