Exclusive: What the Mountains Remember by Joy Callaway Excerpt


We are so excited to bring you this exclusive excerpt from What the Mountains Remember by Joy Callaway!

About What the Mountains Remember:

At this wondrous resort, secrets can easily be hidden in plain sight when the eye is trained on beauty. April 1913 —Belle Newbold hasn’t seen mountains for seven years—since her father died in a mining accident and her mother married Indiana gas magnate, Shipley Newbold. But when her stepfather’s friend, Henry Ford, invites the family on one of his famous Vagabonds camping tours, she is forced to face the hills once again—primarily in order to reunite with her future fiancé, owner of the land the Vagabonds are using for their campsite, a man she’s only met once before. It is a veritable arranged marriage, but she prefers it that way.

Belle isn’t interested in love. She only wants a simple life—a family of her own and the stability of a wealthy man’s pockets. That’s what Worth Delafield has promised to give her and it’s worth facing the mountains again, the reminder of the past, and her poverty, to secure her future. But when the Vagabonds group is invited to tour the unfinished Grove Park Inn and Belle is unexpectedly thrust into a role researching and writing about the building of the inn—a construction the locals are calling The Eighth Wonder of the World—she quickly realizes that these mountains are no different from the ones she once called home.

As Belle peels back the facade of Grove Park Inn, of Worth, of the society she’s come to claim as her own, and the truth of her heart, she begins to see that perhaps her part in Grove Park’s story isn’t a coincidence after all. Perhaps it is only by watching a wonder rise from ordinary hands and mountain stone that she can finally find the strength to piece together the long-destroyed path toward who she was meant to be. International bestselling author Joy Callaway returns with a story of the ordinary people behind extraordinary beauty—and the question of who gets to tell their stories.

Frolic-Exclusive Excerpt

Women of elevated social status did not camp nor spend more than an hour or two in the elements. It was unnatural. There were silks and comfort and odor to consider, after all, and when one had the choice to recline on goose down and remain warm next to a coal fire stoked by servants and have a bath—infused with rose oil—drawn at her bidding, the notion that she would choose to freeze while sleeping on a canvas cot was preposterous. Scandalous, even.

Marie Austen Kipp, daughter of Augustus Kipp, my stepfather’s favorite cousin and inventor of some sort of polymer that Henry Ford was using in his autos, was clearly of this mind. We had been each other’s closest companion for years—some families required proximity even if it provoked madness—as well as these last four hours riding in one of Mr. Ford’s blue Model T Town Cars. Marie Austen kept giggling and whispering about living in the elements as though it was something incredibly naughty. Instead of rolling my eyes, I played along as I had for the last six years, feigning the heiress innocence required of the stepdaughter of gasoline magnate Shipley Newbold, and grinned and giggled with her.

“Hi! Hi, all of you lovelies! We’re going camping! We’re sleeping out of doors,” Marie Austen proclaimed through the closed rear window to the gaggle of ordinary folk gathered in front of what appeared to be a clapboard general store. From the moment we’d disembarked at the train station in Johnson City, Tennessee, and were situated in autos behind the procession of our fathers, who had been traversing the open country since mid-March on the camping vacation Mr. Ford called the Vagabonds Tour, we’d encountered thousands of onlookers. The paper men had done their jobs well, alerting every small town along our route to Asheville that Mr. Ford, Mr. Firestone, Mr. Edison, and their friends were coming for a breeze-through visit.

“Don’t just sit back and ignore them, Belle. Give them a little wave. It’ll be the high mark in their day,” Marie Austen said, nudging me. Believing that a glimpse of herself was enough to set a person’s day right was the reason Marie Austen was in such an agreeable mood. So long as she was secured in her rightful place—the sun to the rest of us simple planets—she was merry.

“Don’t you agree, Mr. Leslie?” she asked our driver, who stoically nodded. He was a perfect chauffeur. He said absolutely nothing. Marie Austen raised her arm and slightly twisted her gloved hand from the wrist as though she were Queen Mary and the gawking onlookers—who were mainly entranced by the autos—her subjects.

“I doubt it’ll be the high mark of their day,” I said. “Unless, of course, Mr. Leslie would like to pull over and give one of them this fine machine in exchange for one of their mules and buggies.” 

About the Author:

Joy Callaway is the international bestselling author of The Grand Design, The Fifth Avenue Artists Society, and Secret Sisters. She lives in Charlotte, NC with her family.

As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

Enjoyed this post?

Frolic F Logo



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

About The Author


Exclusive: How to Plot a Payback by Melissa Ferguson Excerpt

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.

Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top