A rich couple start murdering everybody so they can cut as much timber as possible in 1930s North Carolina. In between all the murder and death are weird sections with an eagle, a lot about logging in Appalachia, and land deals surrounding the creation of the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. And the eagle fights a dragon. Just have to squeeze that in.
Outside of critics of the movie starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence to keep away from theaters, the book has been pretty well received.
That being said, the book starts off with a pretty gruesome murder by knife fight and doesn't hold back about the reality of logging in the early 20th century. Folks die and are maimed by the job.
Other issues addressed include society's double standard about teen pregnancy, miscarriages, sexual situations, issues with authority, religious ideas, paganism, and various dubious business practices.
"Dances and Dames"
Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0