The Ozarks

The Ozarks of Jacob's habitation were far more remote and unsettled than at present. Earlier in the twentieth century, few agricultural or industrial conveniences had penetrated the forested hills of this region. The women were durable and stout of limb, and the men were of the sort who walked the earth before the advent of canned vegetables and packaged meat. One could best have described them as able.

Roads were few and of poor quality, and rivers formed the most efficient network of transportation when one was not particularly inclined to walk. People poled about in long, slender johnboats with characteristically square bows and sterns. Here and there, an enterprising pilot might ferry passengers, take grocery orders, and deliver mail. Larger johnboats were used for transporting livestock and other bulky forms of cargo.

Where the land could support the growth of a few crops, meager and widely scattered farms dotted the countryside outside the small towns, and plowing was typically done with a good view toward the back side of a mule. Hunting and fishing were more of a livelihood and less a form of recreation since few working adults could afford the luxury of taking Saturdays off. But as difficult as life might have been throughout the Ozarks in general, it was especially dangerous in the environs of Jacob's cabin...

- Excerpt from Jacob Leviathan, published 2015.