I was all set to review this book. I finished it last night, closed it with a big old sigh, remarked to myself-- it was very late at night-- how much I really loved the book. Then this morning, I saw this review:
Tom Franklin: Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter Review :: Books :: Reviews ::
It's really all you need to know about the novel, literary fiction, additional reading choices.
But of course, I'll add my two-cents worth in case you don't feel like doing a lot of clicking and reading.
Most school children should know exactly what the derivation of the title of this book is. That rhyme we all learned: M-i-crooked letter crooked letter- i- crooked letter crooked letter- i- hump back hump back - i.
So Tom Franklin sets the story in south Mississippi, with such amazingly appropriate characters.
Larry Ott, a sorry character if I ever saw one. Mechanically disinclined.
Larry's automotive-shop owning father, irked by his seat-belt wearing brother-in-law, with his "low sighs, how he'd shut his eyes and shake his head at the idiocy of something. Or someone." Just an all-around unpleasant fellow, in my book.
And of course Silas, the high school jock back in town all these years later. Now a constable with plenty of police work for him to stick his nose in.
Oh, how differently Silas and Larry's story could have turned out. If a mother had made a different choice. If Silas had spoken up. If Larry didn't need a friend, and make all the wrong ones. If I'm making this book sound like a downer, that's wrong. It's a mystery. Detective story. Family saga (though a short one). Southern literary fiction at its best.
Not one unnecessary word in that entire book.
And did I say it's a mystery? Highly recommended.
Now I guess I'll return my copy to the library. But I'll keep my eyes open for something else by Tom Franklin. Great Mississippi writer. Great writer!