[M. C. Higgins, the Great is] a composite of rich interwoven themes, strengthened by vivid characterization and a deep sense of place. (p. 194)
Much of the story revolves around M. C.'s emotional tension as his love for the mountain conflicts with his belief that the family must leave its home. Further, his friendship with Ben Killburn is thwarted by his family's superstitious dread of the Killburns, whom they consider "witchy." In the end M. C. saves his home by building a wall to stem the onslaught of the threatening "spoil heap." The wall is made of dirt, reinforced by rusty fenders and other car parts and, finally, by the very burial stones of his ancestors, with their markings still...
(The entire section is 478 words.)