Author: Wiley Cash
Publisher: William Morrow
Type of book: baseball, 1990s, South Carolina, Charleston, North Carolina, Gastonia, father/daughter relationship, foster home, white poverty, minor league, revenge, murder
Year it was published: 2014
The critically-acclaimed author of the New York Times bestseller A Land More Kind Than Home returns with a resonant novel of love and atonement, blood and vengeance, involving two young sisters, a wayward father, and an enemy determined to see him pay for his sins
When their mother dies unexpectedly, twelve-year-old Easter and her six-year-old sister Ruby are shuffled into the foster care system in Gastonia, North Carolina, a town not far from the Appalachian mountains. But just as they settle into their new life, their errant father, Wade, an ex-minor league baseball player whom they haven't seen in years, suddenly appears and wants to spend more time with them. Unfortunately, Wade has signed away legal rights to his daughters, and the only way he can get Easter and Ruby back is to steal them away in the middle of the night.
Brady Weller, the girls' court-appointed guardian, begins looking for Wade, and he quickly turns up unsettling information linking Wade to a recent armored car heist, one with a whopping $14.5 million missing. But Brady Weller isn't the only one hunting the desperate father. Robert Pruitt, a shady and mercurial man nursing a years-old vendetta, is also determined to find Wade and claim his due.
The main characters include Easter and Ruby Quillby, two young sisters that were living in a foster home after their mother's death. Easter is wary of life and its surprises, while Ruby still has her innocence intact. Ruby is also unhappy with her looks and often wishes she'd look more like her mother and sister rather than her father. Their father, Wade Chesterfield, used to be a minor ball player, but then his career was destroyed and he ended up signing a petition waiving his rights away. He claims that all he desires is to have his daughters back and is willing to do everything he can. Pruitt is a man that Wade has ruined somehow, and he will also do whatever he can to track down Wade and the two girls, including murder. Brady is the girls's guardian and will do what he can to track the girls down and get them back into the system.
I'm not sure what the message should have been
The story is written in first person narrative from three person's points of view; that of Easter, her guardian Brady and Pruitt, their father's enemy whom he wronged somehow. The story itself is more action and mystery and I don't feel that I got to know the characters as well as I wanted to. The book does have wise quotes though, but I do feel that there's little depth to understanding the characters.
Wiley Cash is the award-winning and New York Times bestselling author of A Land More Kind Than Home. A native of North Carolina, he has held residency positions at Yaddo and The MacDowell Colony and teaches in the low-residency MFA program at Southern New Hampshire University. He and his wife live in Wilmington, North Carolina.
In a lot of ways, the book truly feels Southern due to the way the characters spoke and their views and feelings, but while I highly enjoyed Southern fiction such as To Kill a Mockingbird as well as Then Like a Blind Man Orbie's Story, its because I was able to understand the relationships and motivations between the important characters. In this story however, I feel that one needs to read between the lines because very little is spelled out or said straight out. For some odd reason, while reading this book, part of me kept recalling White Oleander by Janet Fitch and although I did hope I'll be able to recall The Secret Life of Bees or Bee Summers, I wasn't able to though. Still, this is a dark and atmospheric read that will tease the brain's sensors.
This is for TLC Book Tour
Wiley’s Tour Stops
Tuesday, October 21st: Mom’s Small Victories
Tuesday, October 21st: Tutu’s Two Cents
Wednesday, October 22nd: nightlyreading
Thursday, October 23rd: Fourth Street Review
Friday, October 24th: Lit and Life
Tuesday, October 28th: The Steadfast Reader
Wednesday, October 29th: From L.A. to LA
Thursday, October 30th: A Bookworm’s World
Friday, October 31st: My Book Retreat
Monday, November 3rd: Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Tuesday, November 4th: I’d Rather Be At The Beach
Thursday, November 5th: Books in the Burbs
Friday, November 6th: The Year in Books3 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)