Voices from Home

Neil Caudle, Author Putnam Adult $19.95 (286p) ISBN 978-0-399-13421-0
Much like the country music it praises, this first novel is affecting, hokey and truthful. Libby is a teenager caught in debris from a broken home. Quizzed by a court officer during a custody hearing, Libby observes ``a dropped ceiling, droning a cold dew of fluorescent light on their skins. Some of the acoustical panels crumbled at the edges like broken saltines.'' Meticulously faithful to the idiom of the blue-collar South, this writing is compelling, but Caudle's plotting is contrived. Trish, a kindly social worker who serves as deus ex machina; Tina, a stalwart renegade; and Willie, a convenient mother-substitute, act to produce a bittersweet ending that ties up too many loose ends. Yet Caudle delivers the story from its flaws with a fresh, accurate, unpretentious voice, and by the honesty and intelligence of the sentiment that motivates it. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/01/1989
Release date: 08/01/1989
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-345-36870-6
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