Come and Go, Molly Snow
by Mary Ann Taylor-Hall
Carrie Marie Mullins is a wild bluegrass fiddler, the only woman in a band called Cap Dunlap and Hawktown Road.
Shortly after the death of her 5-year-old child, Molly Snow, Carrie goes back to playing
with the band, not knowing what else to do. But two days before the band is to begin the
summer tour which it hopes will establish it as a headline act, Cap finds her sitting
against the wall of Mollys bedroom, trying, as she has done for many nights, to reach
her child across the boundary of death by listening for the one main sound of the universe.
Carrie has long loved Cap, but stomped that feeling down with her cute cowboy boots,
unwilling to be another item on his life list. Now their long-suppressed mutual attraction
turns Carrie back from this enactment of her grief. Carrie suspects, later, fairly or unfairly,
that Caps real interest was to get her on her feet and on the tour. When Cap understands shes in no shape for travel, he takes her to stay with his grandmother and great-aunt on a ridgy farm in drought-struck Oxford County, Kentucky.
It is here, a month later, that we enter Carries mind as, sustained by the love of these
two women and by the place itself, she takes hold of the facts of her life: her loss and
her grief, the cost of her long obsession with Cap, the risks and possibilities of real
love, the responsibilities and privileges of her gift.
The language in which Carries state of mind is represented is a kind of old-time singing:
plain but deeply meant, jaunty and rollicking but vibrating with sorrow.