Jill McCroskey Coupe’s first job was gathering (collating) in her father’s printing plant in Knoxville, Tennessee, in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. A former librarian at Johns Hopkins University, she has an MFA in Fiction from North Carolina’s Warren Wilson College, in the heart of the Blue Ridge. The Southern Appalachians always feel like home to her, but so does Baltimore, where she now lives. She’s hard at work on her next novel, a series of linked stories.
about TRUE STORIES AT THE SMOKEY VIEW
After attending the funeral of her estranged friend Skip in Knoxville, Tennessee, Vrai (short for Vraiment), a forty-something art history librarian with sons of her own, rescues ten-year-old Jonathan, who has been abandoned with no shoes in the funeral home parking lot. The Blizzard of 1993 strands this unlikely duo at the Smoky View Motel, where, motivated in part by the unsolved murders of Jonathan’s parents, they begin to uncover the truth about Skip’s death. With elements of mystery and intrigue, True Stories at the Smoky View is primarily a novel about relationships: the love Vrai feels for her husband and sons, all of whom have left home; her friendship with Skip, which she begins to see in a new light; and her deepening bond with Jonathan. For Vrai and Jonathan, this is a story of mutual rescue—one that results in new lives for them both.