BOOK REVIEW: Running on Red Dog Road and other perils of an Appalachian Childhood by Drama Hall Berkheimer

Publication Date: April 12, 2016
Format: Paperback
Genre:  Biography

Publisher: Zondervan 
Buy: Kindle | Paperback


Gypsies, faith-healers, moonshiners, and snake handlers cavort through Drema's childhood in 1940s Appalachia after her father is killed in the coal mines, her mother goes off to work as a Rosie the Riveter, and she is left in the care of devout Pentecostal grandparents. What follows is a spitfire of a memoir that reads like a novel, with intrigue, sweeping emotion, and indisputable charm. Drema's coming of age is colored by tent revivals with Grandpa, poetry-writing hobos, and exotic carnivals, and through it all, she serves witness to a multi-generational family of saints and sinners whose lives defy the stereotypes. Just as she defies her own.


Memoir about a young girl growing up in coal country Appalachia.  Her mother wasn't around much as she was off working in a factory as a "Rosie the Riveter", her father died in the mines when she was young.  Raised by her Pentacostal grandparents where people spoke in tongues and no one was ever turned away for a meal.  Most of the men in area worked in the mines or were dying from black lung.  The whole area was very poor but they made due and Drema didn't know any better and found her upbringing full of love and adventure.  

This is a good easy read.  Each chapter is like a short story of a period of time in her life.