Raymond has the creation of wordplay down to a fine art. His words are magic and honey to the ear. I know that sounds sappy, but there are certain authors whose words just flow so beautifully and amusingly - and I've said again and again he has that knack. There have been at least 15 different lines thrown out in his books that I have immediately worked to fit into my linguistic phrasing. You know the saying, "I would listen to them read the phone book"? Well, I’d love to see what Raymond could do if he re-wrote it!
This is a deeper and darker book than I have read from him, dealing with a young man, right in his prime, being brought very low by a casual, reckless act. An act that affects not only every aspect of his life, but so many lives around him. The book follows his life and attempts at redemption (Mainly of himself) from a careless bit of fun. He holds a lot of weight on his shoulders and you feel that weight yourself as you watch him survive, grow and attempt to thrive under his new circumstances. As a mother whose man-child is the same age as young Palmer, I believe this book may have hit me particularly harder that it would others.
As with all Raymond books so far, Idgie highly recommends this one.
Publisher: Mercer University Press (September 1, 2014)
Rodney Earwood and Palmer Cray had been best friends for as long as either could remember. They were brothers in all but the genetic sense, each born late in the lives of good women who had given up on the dream of motherhood by the time their respective miracles occurred.
They wandered the hills of North Georgia, hunted the pine woods, fished the cool, green streams, and camped under the stars. They shared each other's clothing, each other's families, and each other's homes. They grew into tall young men, and on a hot May afternoon right after they turned eighteen, they both graduated from Sweetwater High School, numbers seven and eight in the crooked, sweaty line that held a class of thirty of Sweetwater's finest.
Shortly thereafter, Rodney and Palmer flew a Camaro into a tree, Palmer flew into a haystack, Rodney flew into the great beyond, and nothing in Sweetwater was ever the same again.
Follow Palmer in the aftermath of his one great mistake as he confronts regret at his own fallibility, endures punishment for his actions, finds unexpected redemption in unusual places, and is given a second chance to try to make it all right.