Saw this posted up on 'Please Review' and thought I'd take a gander and am really glad I did. I really love this kind of story. Filled with detail that imbues nostalgia, it's written about a life that's dear to my heart. My Grandmother grew up in the 'hollers of Virginia', her family having settled there with Daniel Boone's second expedition. She, along with some of here brothers migrated to Ohio in the '20's to work in Dayton's factories. Eventually the rest of the family followed. I grew up hearing them talk of their life.A hard life, one of discipline that formed a closeness, a deep respect for family values and a deep faith in God. Even though their own lives improved, that generation still stuck with with their values with an iron disciple.
The detail in this story is really well done. Loved you metaphors, example: 'eyes the color of molasses' and so much. I could easily picture the house, the farmyard, the river. Loved the mention fireflies and the sound of the whippoorwill.
Despite having a lot of characters in this story you give enough and perspective of Cora's insight into each of her children that I didn't get confused by them. You introduced them gradually through dialog, Cora's thoughts and even physical description. This was well done.
This was written in the past tense, from Cora's POV. At various times you provide flashbacks. For the most part these transition well without drawing any confusion. However, In the second paragraph, I initially thought Avery Jr was in the kitchen with her. After reading on, I realized he wasn't. May I suggest that you insert a 'had' in '...Avery Jr. who, with caution in his voice questioned her' to be '...Avery Jr. who, with caution in his voice had questioned her'
This is a fantastic story but I have one more suggestion and that's all it is. This story is consistently told from Cora's POV but there are two instance where it's telling veers away from Cora. The first occurs with Jack, when Cora tells him about she and Avery's early life on the farm. Up to this point, you expressed Cora's perception of what her children thought, but now it's directly what Jack thinks.
The second instance is when Cora overhears their conversation, and at this point the reader transported to the room where the talking takes place by the your physical descriptions. In my opinion, you could either switch POV's for the duration of the conversation, or keep it in Cora's doing it as she would only hear their voices. Using the second option, though, the reader shouldn't be informed of Billy's intention to move in with her. That could be included at the end in a conversation.
These points are minor and only a suggestions. This story stands beautifully as it. I loved the the upbeat ending, her faithful hound doing his duty.
Keep on writing. I'd love to read more like this!