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Bent Road

by by Lori Roy

Library Journal After the Chicago riots of 1967, Arthur and Celia Scott move their family back to Arthur's boyhood home in rural Kansas in search of a calmer, safer life. His family welcomes them, but the Scotts' lives are thrust into turmoil when a neighbor's child dis-appears, Arthur's sister suffers spousal abuse, and the shadow of a family murder haunts his younger daughter. Arthur hopes that his son will gain maturity from his new surroundings, but young Daniel's city-coping skills fail him on the farm and in his country school. Celia misses the sophistication of the city, is perplexed by the man Arthur is becoming, and is nearly overwhelmed by the silent suffering around her. Returning to the city is not an option, but the Scotts have second thoughts about life on the plains. This rich and haunting family story reminds us that simplicity of landscape does not necessarily mean simplicity of life. VERDICT Roy's exceptional debut novel is full of tension, complex characters, and deftly gothic overtones. Readers of Tana French's In the Woods will find this dark and satisfying story a great read. Highly recommended.-Susan Clifford Braun, Bainbridge Island, WA (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Library Journal Returning to rural Kansas after the 1967 Detroit riots, Arthur and Celia Scott and their three children find their quest for a calmer, safer life shattered by the disappearance of a neighbor's child. Roy's exceptional first novel is full of tension, complex characters, and deftly applied gothic overtones. (LJ 2/1/11) (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list After a self-imposed exile, Arthur Scott moves his wife and children from the tumult of 1960s Detroit to the wind-swept plains of his hometown in Kansas. A secret is lurking in this small village, and it has something to do with the Scott family. Years ago, Arthur's beautiful older sister died mysteriously. Now, another young girl disappears without a trace. There are also rumors of an escaped convict on the loose. Meanwhile, Arthur's only living sister is beaten by her abusive husband and must seek refuge. Celia, Arthur's wife, watches as events unfold around her, all the time questioning whether they are somehow related. In her debut mystery, Roy excels at creating the kind of ominous mood that is unique to the novel's small-town setting, in which the church holds sway, and family secrets are locked-up tight. Terrifying and touching, the novel is captivating from beginning to end.--Paulson, Heather Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly Set in the mid '60s, Roy's outstanding debut melds strong characters and an engrossing plot with an evocative sense of place. When Negro boys start phoning Elaine, Arthur Scott's teenage daughter, Arthur decides it's time to leave Detroit and return to the small Kansas town that he left 20 years earlier after his sister Eve's mysterious death. His wife, Celia, resents the move that will put her close to in-laws she barely knows and that will change her family dynamic. That Arthur's younger daughter, Eve-ee, resembles her late aunt unsettles Arthur's older sister, Ruth, and Ruth's husband, Ray, who have never seen Eve-ee before. When a neighbor's child disappears, suspicion uncomfortably settles on Ray, who was suspected in Eve's death. Roy couples a vivid view of the isolation and harshness of farm life with a perceptive look at the emotions that can rage beneath the surface. This Midwestern noir with gothic undertones is sure to make several 2011 must-read lists. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

 

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