Amity and Prosperity

Eliza Griswold
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

America is fracturing politically, but Griswold has a more literal fracturing in her sights as well: the fracking of shale beneath the small Appalachian towns of Amity and Prosperity in southwestern Pennsylvania. Just as coal did in another era, the gas boom promised a lucky break for residents no longer able to make a living on the land. Some profited, but at what cost? The book opens with poisoned pets and ailing children, and pits an indefatigable single mom and two local lawyers against energy giants and neighbors’ recalcitrance. Built on seven years of immersive reporting, this is human interest journalism at its best.