Review From User :
I don't often cry at movies or while reading books, but I did with this one!! Also stayed up until 2:00 a.m., I had to finish it!
This is the third book that I've read by Mr. Eskens and every one has been a 5*, I wish I could give it more. This book gets everything right, the plot, the mystery, the character development, the quick and smooth flow of the prose, just WOW !! I felt so many emotions while reading this book. At times I laughed, cried, felt afraid, felt ashamed at how evil and prejudiced some people can be, the pain that they can inflict on others, verbally and physically. Wonderfully, to balance the evil there was the incredible kindness and caring of people, young and older, who do everything to help others. I don't want to let go of these characters, I feel like they have found a place in my heart.
15 year old Broady is a very inquisitive, kind and caring young teen but that doesn't mean that he doesn't get himself in lots of dangerous, dubious adventures. He has just finished his freshman year at a Christian high school which he is definitely not happy about. His mother, widowed for about ten years, is quite strict with Broady and when he was caught stealing and smoking cigarettes in 8th grade she wanted him in a private school. Problem is, at this school he doesn't fit in anywhere. He handles it pretty well and spends lots of time reading, exploring in the woods, fishing, swimming and talking with his next door neighbor, Hoke, a retired lawyer who spends long afternoons on his porch. These two have a great relationship and it eases Broady's heart a little since his father died.
New neighbors on Broady's small neighborhood street is big news. When it turns out that the dad is the next manager at the local company, Ryke Manufacturing, and an African American things start to happen, first slowly and then very quickly spiral out of control. The bright light in all of this is the wonderful friendship that blossoms between Broady and Thomas Elgin, the new neighbor boy, same age as Broady.
We begin to be introduced to an array of amazing characters. Broady's mother who has been quiet and quite withdrawn seems to come out of her loneliness when Jenny Elgin engages her in talks and teas.
The sheriff, Vaughan, is a tough one to figure out, is he really a good guy Bad guy Somewhere in between
There had been a big story in town a few months previously about a young black woman, Ms. Lida Poe, who supposedly embezzled money from the company and no one has seen her since. The general belief is that she has fled the country, has she
The really frightening group of guys are a part of the CORPS, a secret white supremacist group, they include boys named Jarvis, Bob and Brad. There are not at all happy with the new African American manager of Ryke and the demotion of their father.
I don't want to give away any more of the plot so I will stop with this quote from Hoke when trying to explain the racial prejudices in town "In a perfect world, ignorant notions should die a quick death. A thing like racism, if it can't find a kindred spirit...it's like a dog barking at a stone. But if you can find just one other person who thinks like you . ..well even the most irrational belief can grow roots. Small minded people feed off each other and before you know it, you have mobs, and you have burning crosses, and lynchings" .
If you haven't read this author I highly recommend that you pick up this book. It has already published so it can also make a great holiday gift :) Obviously I loved this book!
I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher Mulholland Books, through NetGalley.
In a small town where loyalty to family and to “your people” carries the weight of a sacred oath, defying those unspoken rules can be a deadly proposition.
After fifteen years of growing up in the Ozark hills with his widowed mother, high-school freshman Boady Sanden is beyond ready to move on.
Expand text… He dreams of glass towers and cityscapes, driven by his desire to be anywhere other than Jessup, Missouri. The new kid at St. Ignatius High School, if he isn’t being pushed around, he is being completely ignored. Even his beloved woods, his playground as a child and his sanctuary as he grew older, seem to be closing in on him, suffocating him.
Then Thomas Elgin moves in across the road, and Boady’s life begins to twist and turn. Coming to know the Elgins-a black family settling into a community where notions of “us” and “them” carry the weight of history-forces Boady to rethink his understanding of the world he’s taken for granted. Secrets hidden in plain sight begin to unfold: the mother who wraps herself in the loss of her husband, the neighbor who carries the wounds of a mysterious past that he holds close , the quiet boss who is fighting his own hidden battle.
But the biggest secret of all is the disappearance of Lida Poe, the African-American woman who keeps the books at the local plastics factory. Word has it that Ms. Poe left town, along with a hundred thousand dollars of company money. Although Boady has never met the missing woman, he discovers that the threads of her life are woven into the deepest fabric of his world.
As the mystery of her fate plays out, Boady begins to see the stark lines of race and class that both bind and divide this small town, and he is forced to choose sides.