Following God One Step at a Time

Perils of an Appalachian Childhood

on May 27, 2016

This is my Book Review for “Running On Red Dog Road

by Drema Hall Berkheimer.

This is a true story of childhood memories of the author.  She grew up in the Appalachian Mountains in West Virginia in the 1940s.  Her stories are interesting, about a simpler lifestyle that no longer exists.  She later moved across the country, not to live in West Virginia again.

She grew up in a family of poor coal miners.  Her dad died in a mine when she was still a baby.  Her mom went to the city to find work, so for a while, she and her sister and brother lived with their grandparents.  They always seemed to have plenty of food, and they would share it with the hobos traveling through the area picking up odd jobs along the way.

The family had a cow for milk, and made their own butter.  They also made their own molasses. They had chickens for eggs, and pigs for ham and pork chops.  Her grandfather was a country preacher, who baptized people in the river.

Some of the songs they would sing for church service or funerals were “In the Sweet By and By”, “Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus”, and “Will the Circle be Unbroken”.  Note —I have put a link in each song name, so you can click and listen to the song as it might have sounded back when the author was a girl.

I enjoyed reading this book.  It is a collection of individual stories from the author’s life.  I wish there were some pictures so I could see the places and people the author remembers.  Maybe one day they will make a movie based on the book.

You can find “Running On Red Dog Road” at

I received a free copy of the book from the publisher (Zondervan) through BookLook Bloggers, so I could write a true book review for you to read.

BookLookBlogger badge BookLook Bloggers  also has reviews on many more books.



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