Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Tilted World

Idgie Says:
I loved Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter so was very excited when I received this book.  It does not disappoint.  In this novel the story is placed further back in time, to the floods of the 1920s that destroyed so many lives.  Set again in the South, it embraces a great story line and also some interesting historical tidbits.  The entire story takes place within a tight time frame of several weeks so there are no slow moments.  There is some fantastic expressionism used in this novel and one I truly enjoyed (with a snicker) was when a woman with a "feisty" behind was described as having a sack of puppies under her skirt.  

Altogether the characters are filled out and lively, there's a fine pulling of emotions between what's supposed to be wrong but feels right, and the love of an orphan baby bringing so many unexpected people together. 

There are a few unrealistic moments in the book - such as the demolition of an entire town to be able to become someone new in another town was a bit wild. There was another moment that was "Dirk Pitt" in it's somewhat unrealistic telling, and that's when there was a romantic engagement between two people - trapped  during the flooding, while one had a broken arm and ribs.   That one did bring raised eyebrows a bit.

But fiction is just that - it's imagination at work.  So while I did have doubts about these plot lines, at the same time I embraced them fully because they told the story as it was meant to be told and were integral to it.  

The Tilted World 
by Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly
(William Morrow, October 2013) 

Book Description:
Set against the backdrop of the historic flooding of the Mississippi River, The Tilted World is an extraordinary tale of murder and moonshine, sandbagging and saboteurs, and a man and a woman who find unexpected love, from Tom Franklin, the acclaimed author of the New York Times bestseller Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, and award-winning poet Beth Ann Fennelly

The year is 1927. As rains swell the Mississippi, the mighty river threatens to burst its banks and engulf everything in its path, including federal revenue agent Ted Ingersoll and his partner, Ham Johnson. Arriving in the tiny hamlet of Hobnob, Mississippi, to investigate the disappearance of two fellow agents who'd been on the trail of a local bootlegger, they are astonished to find a baby boy abandoned in the middle of a crime scene. 

Ingersoll, an orphan raised by nuns, is determined to find the infant a home, and his search leads him to Dixie Clay Holliver. A strong woman married too young to a philandering charmer, Dixie Clay has lost a child to illness and is powerless to resist this second chance at motherhood. From the moment they meet, Ingersoll and Dixie Clay are drawn to each other. He has no idea that she's the best bootlegger in the county and may be connected to the agents' disappearance. And while he seems kind and gentle, Dixie Clay knows full well that he is an enemy who can never be trusted.

When Ingersoll learns that a saboteur might be among them, planning a catastrophe along the river that would wreak havoc in Hobnob, he knows that he and Dixie Clay will face challenges and choices that they will be fortunate to survive. Written with extraordinary insight and tenderness, The Tilted World is that rarest of creations, a story of seemingly ordinary people who find hope and deliverance where they least expect it—in each other.

Read an excerpt HERE.