Family loyalties, deadly feuds, and international drug wars are brought to life in Ninie Hammon’s new intergenerational tale set in present-day Kentucky, four decades after the rise and fall of the Cornbread Mafia.
When Ruth Hannacker finds a “just-in-case-anything-happens-to-me” letter among her mother’s things after she was killed in a tornado, it opens a new chapter in the family’s decades-long, fraught, and often tragic story with Righteous Weed.
The letter from Jessica Monaghan Hannacker tells of the Tree House, a propane tank buried in the ground where Willie Ray Taggart stashed his marijuana money back in the heyday of the Cornbread Mafia. When Ruth finds the Tree House, she discovers $75,000 in cash and quart jars of Righteous Weed seed, the finest strain of marijuana ever developed.
Over the protests of 72-year-old Riley Hannacker, the only remaining living member of the original Cornbread Mafia, the family decides to grow an indoor crop, illegal in Kentucky, so they can patent the strain and get a license to grow in one of the 11 newly legal states. They plan to market it as a premium boutique cannabis, appealing to the nostalgia of the smokers’ first-time high.
But as so often happens with the best-laid plans, things quickly go awry. Jealousy, resentment, anger, greed, and deeply buried feelings from long gone wrongs resurface and wreak havoc with what is left of the family.
So Shall The Tree Grow is the fourth and final book in Ninie Hammon’s new Cornbread Mafia series, a fictional story inspired by the real Cornbread Mafia that sprang up in picturesque Marion County, Kentucky, and grew into the largest illegal marijuana-growing operation in U.S. history.