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Published: Lee Boudreaux Books - February 7th, 2017
An intense unsettling ride into the heat, dust, dirty back roads and truck stops of a southern rural town where murder and violence erupt following the coincidental return of two former residents. Secrets, revenge, passion and old mistakes haunt the characters in Desperation Road who can't see beyond the next few hours in a day but are just too stubborn to quit. This is a great big novel that you'll finish in one night because you just have to know what lies around the next curve and you'll desperately hope with each turn of the page that mercy and justice will make everything alright, or at least mostly. If you've enjoyed Ron Rash, Daniel Woodrow, David Joy, or Tom Franklin's novels, put this on your must read list. ~ Reviewed by Nancy Scheemaker
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Published: Atlantic Monthly Press - August 1st, 2017
What do pears, pigeons and rancid mutton broth have to do with the infamous Lizzie Borden murder case of 1892? Sarah Schmidt's novelization of the event is an eerily compelling read for those with a taste for the macabre. See What I Have Done is populated by numerous unreliable narrators who together construct the events before and after the murders with an exquisitely dark and chilling affect. Squeamish readers beware. ~ Reviewed by Nancy Scheemaker
Published: Milkweed Editions - October 11th, 2016
J. Drew Lanham's life began on a family owned parcel of land in South Carolina. The same Home Place that inspired his impassioned life as naturalist, ornithologist, ecologist and teacher is the same stretch of land where his ancestors before him lived as slaves. This truly unique American memoir gives witness to the Lanham family history unfolding within the racial and social tensions of the era. But this is also the story of how wild things and wild places in the deep south shaped Lanham's conscience and life path.. The book succeeds on so many levels, but especially resonates as an example of how our landscapes can shape us - that through this influence we have a chance at becoming fully realized human beings. ~ Reviewed by Nancy Scheemaker
Published: Knopf - March 7th, 2017
Christopher Knight's choice to live a twenty year life of solitude in the woods of Maine was a radical and random decision making for a fascinating read.
"I was never lonely", Knight says.
Michael Finkel delivers all the details through his interviews with Knight in his jail cell.
Read this book if you are one who wanders in search of the marrow of life. ~ Reviewed by Nancy Scheemaker
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Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - February 2nd, 2016
Jacob McNeely truly comes to life in this highly recommended modern day Appalachian thriller. This has all the ingredients of a satisfying read - danger, suspense, searing family tension, a love story, and a rapidly building plot line that will keep you barreling through to the end. This is the tale of a son desperate to escape the dangerous drug infested life ways of his parents. Set against the dark, sweet, lonesome southern landscape, David Joy has created a well spun modern day tragedy, with vivid characters that alternately scare the heck out of you one moment, and then break your heart the next. ~ Reviewed by Nancy Scheemaker
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Published: Back Bay Books - April 26th, 2016
Sally Mann may perhaps best known from her collection of photographs entitled Immediate Family, a collection of nude black and white photos of her children. This memoir is the raw footage of her life so far and what a grand treasure it is.
Narrated with such grace, humor, honesty and sometimes wonder, Sally Mann revisits all the corners of her life - from her quite literally wild childhood, to the fierce passions of her marriage, photography, motherhood, and connection to land and horses. The lonely and meticulous process of producing art and the consequences of public scrutiny are quite vivid in this memoir, as well as the terror of notoriety. But what resonates most of all is her wise and peaceful resolve. Clearly, these are valuable life stories from an artist who dares to be original and by doing so has arrived at herself. ~ Reviewed by Nancy Scheemaker