“Hawkins Pass” takes place in the early 1930s depression era. The story is narrated by Jude Thomas, a 47 year old writer who resides with his wife and children in New York City. As a successful novelist, Jude has had a long-time goal of penning the memoirs of his early years. It is the year 1957 when he finally sits at the typewriter to look back in remembrance and record the days that forever molded his life.
The bulk of the action takes place in the setting of Hawkins General Store which is located near the peak of one of the only easily traversable passes on Black Mountain in the 1930s. Black Mountain received its name due to the iron-rich dark rock formations on its ridges. It is part of a range of mountains that make up the westernmost edge of the Appalachians of east Kentucky.
Through the years, a community has built up around Hawkins Pass, and like all other areas of the country during the depression, they are struggling to make ends meet.