Thursday, February 27, 2020 at 6:00 pm
Boneyard Bookworms meets once per month on the grounds of Laurel Hill or West Laurel Hill. There is no fee to join or attend, but registration for each session is required. To offer a unique perspective, each month’s discussion will be led by a different moderator whose areas of interest and expertise vary.
The February Boneyard Bookworm selection is Amity and Prosperity: One Family and the Fracturing of America by Eliza Griswold.
Winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction - In Amity and Prosperity, the prizewinning poet and journalist Eliza Griswold tells the story of the energy boom’s impact on a small town at the edge of Appalachia and one woman’s transformation from a struggling single parent to an unlikely activist.
Stacey Haney is a local nurse working hard to raise two kids and keep up her small farm when the fracking boom comes to her hometown of Amity, Pennsylvania. Intrigued by reports of lucrative natural gas leases in her neighbors’ mailboxes, she strikes a deal with a Texas-based energy company. Soon trucks begin rumbling past her small farm, a fenced-off drill site rises on an adjacent hilltop, and domestic animals and pets start to die. When mysterious sicknesses begin to afflict her children, she appeals to the company for help. Its representatives insist that nothing is wrong.
Alarmed by her children’s illnesses, Haney joins with neighbors and a committed husband-and-wife legal team to investigate what’s really in the water and air. Against local opposition, Haney and her allies doggedly pursue their case in court and begin to expose the damage that’s being done to the land her family has lived on for centuries. Soon a community that has long been suspicious of outsiders faces wrenching new questions about who is responsible for their fate, and for redressing it: The faceless corporations that are poisoning the land? The environmentalists who fail to see their economic distress? A federal government that is mandated to protect but fails on the job? Drawing on seven years of immersive reporting, Griswold reveals what happens when an imperiled town faces a crisis of values, and a family wagers everything on an improbable quest for justice.
The discussion will take place on Thursday, February 27, 2020 at 6:00 pm, at Laurel Hill Cemetery’s Gatehouse at 3822 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19132. Free parking is located in the lot across the street from the Gatehouse.
For more information on Boneyard Bookworms visit here.