I read books. Lots of 'em.
They're not "hillbillies:" they're Americans like you and me who speak in a dialect, Appalachian English. The family is loving and trying to reconcile their Fundamentalists beliefs with the new found love of Science by their daughter, Mary Mae.
I found it was too easy to dismiss them as ignorant, not because of their speech (which was a minor deal, really), but because of their attitudes toward school, church, and authority figures. Yes, Mary Mae's parents and grandma clearly love her, but I wanted more nuanced characterizations, so the story could be more than just "Bible-thumpers vs. enlightened scientists." OCTAVIA BOONE and EVOLUTION, ME, AND OTHER FREAKS OF NATURE did it better, I thought.
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