The saying ‘you can take the girl out of Kentucky but you can’t take Kentucky out of the girl’ proves true for writer Millie Ledford Lee, a former Knox Countian who uses the Appalachian backroads to inspire her writing.
In her latest novel, “Finding Hope,” Lee follows the lives of two Kentuckians and the challenges they face during World War II. Female protagonist Stella Bingham is trying to adjust to life after her father’s death while male protagonist Raymond Fox rebuilds his life after having been forced out of town for a crime he did not commit.
Ray rescues Stella when her car runs out of gas and the duo gradually share family secrets and uncertainties over the war, leading to their views of each other changing, both wondering if happiness can be obtained.
Lee, the author of the new book, uses her Appalachian upbringing to create such relatable characters in a setting that locals will know and love. Born in Harlan County, Lee’s family moved to a small Knox County farm when she was eight years old.
“Our house was secluded off Highway 6, on a graveled road between Wilton and Dowis Chapel. Now the road is paved with a sign that reads Wilton Road,” remembers Lee. “As a child of the Appalachian Mountains…I was privy to front-porch stories my parents told about moonshine stills, coal mining, pie suppers and the hardships and joys of their youth. Walking over a mountainous road to school, I painted stories inside my head of covered wagons and pioneers who settled the land. As an adult, I wanted to write stories to capture that mountain life.”
Lee predominately writes about rural, southern settings, down-to-earth characters and follows the themes of abiding love, strength in adversity and family bonds. Lee has published novels, short stories and essays and has won numerous writing contests.
For more information about Lee’s novels, visit www.millieledfordlee.com. Her books are available for purchase on Amazon.