Hills of Eden
Jory Sherman's first book for Gallivant Press, The Hills of Eden, is a deeply personal look at the green highlands of Missouri and Arkansas. His work could easily be described as a travel book. He does lead the reader down beautiful and poignant mountain highways and long-forgotten back roads to places that reflect the timeless legacy and unforgettable characters of the Ozarks.
As he has written: "All the dirt roads lead somewhere, and I have followed many of them since that first morning, a wanderer and an explorer, never expecting anything but always finding something of great value, whether it be a diamond-strewn creek in sunlight or a midnight river full of dancing stars, or a verdant woodland glade."
Or maybe it's a memoir of the time Sherman spent in the highlands, the time, he says, that was both mystical and magical "as if the green spring hills were being born at just that moment, as if they had lain dormant beneath a low sky full of heavy clouds, waiting for that first kiss of sunlight, waiting for me."
He has written: "These green hills and memory percolates up through the thick layers of civilization in my mind ... The hills that first morning arose out of a thick mist like some Brigadoon stage set that appears only once in a span of years, then disappears until another generation spawns."
Others may prefer to use The Hills of Eden as a devotional because the power and the passion of his writing, the depth of his insights, the raw energy of his thoughts are stimulating, motivational, and inspiring. His words, his stories, those he met within the highlands remain firmly implanted in your mind long after the final pages have been read.
As Jory Sherman remembers: "I discovered long ago that it's not the things that last. It's not the things we see and touch which endure in reality, but the images of those things that are important to us, that seem to mirror memories in the soul. The images are those intangibles that we can summon from some deep place inside us and relive and enjoy again and again, though we be far from home, far from the hills and hollows that we have journeyed through to find our own truths, our own personal mythology."
As reviewer Lee Kirk wrote: "This is the sort of book that may be pulled down again and again on those days when you're feeling blue, or when you're somewhere else and need to smell and feel the Ozarks one more time."
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