Caldwell, Wayne. Cataloochee: A Novel. Random House Trade Paperbacks; Reprint edition, 2008. A multi-generational family story set in Cataloochee before the area became a national park.
Dykeman, Wilma. The Tall Woman. Wakestone Books, 1962. This book is in its 40th printing which should say something about its popularity. It depicts a strong woman during the Civil War and its aftermath in Appalachia. A classic.
Frazier, Charles. Cold Mountain. Atlantic Monthly Press, 1997.Cold Mountain is the story of two parallel journeys: a Confederate soldier's physical trek across North Carolina and his love interest's internal odyssey toward an understanding of herself. Good book and movie.
Godwin, Gail. Evensong. Ballantine, 1999. The story of a marriage in a small Western North Carolina town. She is a prolific writer who grew up in Asheville, North Carolina. Look for her other books.
Hays, Tommy. The Pleasure was Mine. St. Martin's Press, 2005. A sweet family story about a man whose wife of fifty years has Alzeimer's. It's set in Greenville, SC with great scenes in Jones Gap State Park.
Karon, Jan. At Home in Mitford. River Oak Publishing; Original edition, 2005. The first of several successful novels about Father Tim, a small-town minister, and his friends, set in Mitford. The town is meant to be Blowing Rock.
Marshall, Catherine. Christy. Avon Books, 1967. Christy leaves home to teach school in the Smoky Mountains. Christy of the TV series was originally a book written by the daughter of the heroine. The outline is true but the story is not really a biography.
Morgan, Robert. Gap Creek. Algonquin Books, 2000. The story follows Julie Harmon who marries young and sets up housekeeping at Gap Creek at the end of the 19th century while her husband works in a cotton mill in Lyman between Greenville and Spartanburg. The novel, a real tearjerker, was chosen as an Oprah selection, making it an instant national best-seller.
Rash, Ron. One Foot in Eden. Picador, 2002. A beautiful, can't-put-down story about a murder and its aftermath in a small, South Carolina mountain town. I couldn't put it down.
Rash, Ron. Saints at the River. Picador, 2004. Another great book based on a true story. What happens when a young girl drowns in the Chatooga (a wild and scenic river) and her parents want to dam up the river to retrieve her body.
Rash Ron. Serena. Ecco, 2008. A grand story of greed and mystery in the Smoky Mountains during the logging days.
Smith, Lee. Saving Grace. Putnam. 1995. Gracie grows up with a illiterate serpent-handling father. She goes from man to man in this sad but captivating tale.
Smith. Lee. The Devil's Dream. Ballantine, 1992. A family saga of several music-loving generations of Appalachians. Might be inspired by the Carter family story.