Before Sister




Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 12/9/2002

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 182
ISBN : 9781553951414

About the Book

This is a story of how a mother's early ambition and intense love shaped the future of her son in Virginia's Appalachian Mountains in the early 1940s as America survived an economic depression and fought a war. In a series of short stories it describes a unique time, place and relationship between an ambitious and loving mother and her first born. The focus of this relationship is Before Sister after which Momma turned her attention to a new addition to the family and depended on what she had taught her son to carry him through life.

The place was Hilltown which was founded by the Hill family in 1869 at the great bend in the New River in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains. In the 1840s it was a community of some 200 souls all of whom were related through the John and Martha Hill family. That family orientation made Hilltown a unique place to grow up.

The time was was the the early 1940s as America emerged from the Great Depression and entered the greatest war of all time. It was a turning point for America and a shaping time for Americans everywhere, particularly in those Virginia mountains.

The relationship was between an ambitious, driving and intense mother and her first born, a son. This relationship took place within the context of a unique place at a unique time in history. The result is history. This is the story of that time, that place and that relationship.

About the Author

Wade Gilley, who grew up in Hilltown near the New River in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains, responded to an intense, inspiring and education-loving mother to become one of the first in his community to go to college and graduate. Though educated as an engineer, he found a career in education, including becoming America's youngest college president at age 29 in 1967 just ten years after graduating from high school. He went on to become president of five colleges and universities and secretary of education for the Commonwealth of Virginia before retiring in 2001. In Wade Gilley's words, "Momma's commitment to education made it all possible."