Lindsey’s incandescent debut novel (after the collection We Come to Our Senses) captures a riveting slice of life from the deep South, spanning the 1960s to the present in fictional Pitchlynn, Miss. It begins and ends with Colleen, an Iraq war vet shadowed by memories of combat, pregnant with twins, and making ends meet with her husband, Derby Friar, a house painter. Derby’s father, Hale Hobbs—Derby took his mother’s maiden name to distance himself from his father—is making headlines with his retrial for the murder of a young black man back in the civil rights era. Derby’s boss, JP, has moved from Chicago to Pitchlynn with his infant daughter, and with Derby’s help is overhauling the area’s famed Wallis mansion, renowned for its centuries-old magnolia tree. JP’s recently deceased wife, Dru, was heir to the home, and he resolves to get back at the town for the way Dru was treated after the accidental death of her cousin by giving the “stodgy white manor” a mid-century palette rather than a proper restoration. Colleen, afraid she won’t be able to give her children a good future, tries to get Derby to spend less time working for JP. Amid the distraction of town drama over the Wallis project, a catastrophic accident at the Friar household leads Colleen to confront her demons. In dazzling prose, the author lassos complex subjects with acuity, from the legacy of racism in Mississippi to internecine class wars, the horror of combat, and the joy and terror of becoming a mother. This is a consummate portrait of human fragility and grim determination. (July)
Reviewed on : 04/24/2020 Release date: 07/21/2020 Genre: Fiction
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