Winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction In Amity and Prosperity, the prizewinning poet and journalist Eliza Griswold tells the story of the energy boom's impact on a small town at the edge of Appalachia and one woman's transformation from a struggling single parent to an unlikely activist. Stacey Haney is a local nurse working hard to raise two kids and keep up her small farm when the fracking boom comes to her hometown of Amity, Pennsylvania. Intrigued by reports of lucrative natural gas leases in her neighbors' mailboxes, she strikes a deal with a Texas-based energy company. Soon trucks begin rumbling past her small farm, a fenced-off drill site rises on an adjacent hilltop, and domestic animals and pets start to die. When mysterious sicknesses begin to afflict her children, she appeals to the company for help. Its representatives insist that nothing is wrong. Alarmed by her children's illnesses, Haney joins with neighbors and a committed husband-and-wife legal team to investigate what's really in the water and air. Against local opposition, Haney and her allies doggedly pursue their case in court and begin to expose the damage that's being done to the land her family has lived on for centuries. Soon a community that has long been suspicious of outsiders faces wrenching new questions about who is responsible for their fate, and for redressingit: The faceless corporations that are poisoning the land? The environmentalists who fail to see their economic distress? A federal government that is mandated to protect but fails on the job? Drawing on seven years of immersive reporting, Griswold reveals what happens when an imperiled town faces a crisis of values, and a family wagers everything on an improbable quest for justice.
This centers on a few families in Amity, a woman, divorced mother of two, who owns her own property, but could use additional money for improvements. What she didn't bargain for is what happens to the health of her family, the animals in her care, and the struggle she will have trying to get justice. Admit to disillusionment when I learned Obama allowed fracking to go on, but not surprised to learn Trump removed many of the EPA safeguards. An odd to the legal team of husband and wife and the way they fought a system that at every turn was firmly against them. A fine piece of investigative reporting. The audio book narrated by Tavia Gilbert who did a fantastic job.
I enjoyed the writing of this one more than Beyond the Beautiful Forevers and Evicted, both books that have won the Pulitzer in the past couple years. I like that Griswold talks some about her relationship with the story and how she sees the families change over the years.