The setting for REDEMPTION MOUNTAIN is located in Red Bone, West Virginia, in the Appalachian region of the Southern United States. Ranked by median income, it is the poorest state in the union except for Mississippi. The major resource in West Virginia’s economy is coal and the state is a top coal-producer in this country, second only to Wyoming.
From the beginning, in 1863, the state of West Virginia mined coal. While it has been blessed with a vast assortment of natural resources, coal is found in 53 of 55 counties, it is a mixed blessing. The downside of this blessing is about the the environment, the land, the people who mine it, and the unfortunate miners’ families who watch their loved ones leave for work never to see them again.
Most of us, when we think of horse racing, conjure up a mint-juleps-and-roses vision of the Kentucky Derby or perhaps, Churchill Downs, attended by jewel-studded rich folk dressed up in their finery with cash to burn.
But at the rock-bottom end of the sport, horse racing is a whole other world â€“ a world inhabited by down-on-their-luck trainers and jockeys, loan sharks and crooks, gyps and hotwalkers. This is the world Jaimy Gordon takes on â€“ Indian Mound Downs, where the horses are mostly aging, drugged, or lame and the trainers are as crooked and cynical as they come.