Literary Giants: All the Living
"She wondered if all men could sleep this soundly under duress But she did not know any other men, had not seen the way they slept, and she wondered how it would feel to have someone else sleep beside her."
With the gentle, unerring confidence and wisdom of a much older writer, Morgan gives us the ageless story of Aloma, a Kentucky orphan who never knew her parents or lived in a house, whose only moments of joy are found playing the piano. Aloma lives a solitary life teaching music in a rural school, dreaming a faraway future as a professional musician, when she meets a reticent farm boy named Orren, and feels an undeniable physical pull.
Their nights of recklessness and freedom are cut short when Orren's family perishes in a car accident, leaving Orren to tend the family tobacco farm. Aloma doesn't hesitate when he asks her to come live with him, but her doubts rage when she sees her new home. It is tragically run-down, and Aloma sees the future ahead of her: endless days of cooking, cleaning, and farm work. And how can she console the silent, grieving man with whom she now finds herself? Her only solace is playing piano for a church where a preacher's kind attention lifts her from her isolation, and ultimately helps her decide whether to submit to the life she's been granted, or leave the farm to seek another.