Please join moderator Kathy Schultenover for a discussion of Jennifer Haigh’s book, Heat and Light. Parnassus Book Club meetings are free and open to anyone. Buy the book, read the book and join the discussion!
Forty years ago, Bakerton coal fueled the country. Then the mines closed, and the town wore away like a bar of soap. Now Bakerton has been granted a surprise third act: it sits squarely atop the Marcellus Shale, a massive deposit of natural gas.
To drill or not to drill? Prison guard Rich Devlin leases his mineral rights to finance his dream of farming. He doesn’t count on the truck traffic and nonstop noise, his brother’s skepticism or the paranoia of his wife, Shelby. Meanwhile his neighbors, organic dairy farmers Mack and Rena, hold out against the drilling - until a passionate environmental activist disrupts their lives.
Told through a cast of characters whose lives are increasingly bound by the opposing interests that underpin the national debate, Heat and Light depicts a community blessed and cursed by its natural resources.