on February 7th 2017
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WOW! Just WOW!
For once I read a book slow. I savored this book. So wonderfully and eloquently written. Powerful book about loss, bad choices, heartbreak, pain, suffering, serving time, starting over and second chances. Two people marked by violence who are trying to create a better life for themselves while the world keeps kicking them in the teeth. How much can one person take?
Russell Gaines served 11 years in Parchman penitentiary. On the day of his release, brothers Larry and Wyatt were waiting to “welcome” him home. Larry and Walt are the brothers of the man, Russell killed years earlier while drinking and driving. They have a score to settle and do not see Russell’s time served as punishment enough. He wants to start over and live his life, but quickly learns that is easier said than done.
Maben and her daughter, Annalee, have been walking along the freeway carrying all of their possessions in a trash bag. Maben is hoping for a break – for something to make their lives better. Maben uses what money they have left to get a motel room for the night. A place to rest from the punishing heat. That night, worried about money and their dismal future, she makes a decison. She hopes to make some money but decides against it but it is too late. She falls into an even worse situation. A situation that is horrific, frightening, demeaning and results in a fatal shooting. Now Mabel and her daughter need to find a way to leave town safely and hopefully, just hopefully, start over.
It is only a matter of time before Russel and Mabel’s paths collide. Thrown together by chance they learn that it is a small world after all and that they do have a connection. Russell figures out their connection first and soon all of the pieces fall together. Russell feels a need to protect Mabel and her daughter and asks his father to allow them to stay in his barn. Russell knows he is putting himself at risk, but he feels a strong need to protect them no matter what the cost is to him.
Can I gush? This book was AMAZING!! I want to give this book a standing ovation. It was so beautifully written. The pacing and the story progressed at the right speed. Nothing felt rushed. The love, the loss, the pain was seering. Smith’s writing is haunting and eloquent. I have not read anything by Smith before, but I am going to go binge read his other books now. What I loved most about this book was the characters. They are flawed, they are beaten down, but they don’t give up. His characters are real, their pain is real, their desire to start over feels real. This book is full of revenge, retribution, loss, suffering, pain, but also there is hope, second chances and decency.
This book is going to end up on my favorite books of the year list. I loved every single page of it! This is the type of book, I love to fall into. So well written, so engrossing, so captivating. Read slowly and savor every single beautifully placed word. This book will not disappoint.
I highly recommend this book!
I received a copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.