Demon Copperhead

Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver is a modern retelling of Charles Dickens’s David Copperfield, which exchanges the grim poverty of Victorian London for the equally dark backdrop of the opioid crisis in Appalachia. Damon Fields, nicknamed Demon Copperhead for his troublemaking and his red hair, is born in the late 1980s to a single, drug-addicted mother in a trailer in Virginia. When his mom overdoses on his 11th birthday, he’s thrown into the system of foster care. Then, when his briefly glorious high school football career ends in an injury, Demon, too, becomes addicted to painkillers. His life follows similar pitfalls and triumphs of David Copperfield’s--first love, heartbreak, untrustworthy friends--but the book stands on its own as a portrait of rural poverty that’s often overlooked.