Mud Creek Medicine: The Life of Eula Hall and the Fight for Appalachia

Kiran Bhatraju. Butler Books, $25 hardcover (304p) ISBN 978-1-935497-73-8
Bhatraju provides an inspiring look at the life of Eula Hall, an Appalachian-born woman who overcame many obstacles as she fought to bring healthcare to her poverty-stricken corner of eastern Kentucky. Hall was born in 1927, in a "small holler town" so poor that basic access to doctors and medicine was very limited. Poverty was a challenge that would motivate Hall all her life, particularly when she made access to healthcare her mission. That mission would eventually lead Hall to establish the Mud Creek Clinic, aimed at helping those with no other options. Woven into the story of Hall's work as an activist are tales about her family life, with a focus on her abusive husband. In a lesser book, this focus on Hall's personal life might feel extraneous. But here it's crucial to the story; it was the author's personal experience with domestic violence that prompted her to help so many others. Hall also fought for miners with black lung disease. Much of Bhatraju's well-crafted book reads like a swashbuckling adventure in Appalachia.
Reviewed on: 03/24/2014
Genre: Nonfiction
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