Thursday, January 4, 2018
Missing Isaac by Valerie Fraser Luesse
There was another South in the 1960s, one far removed from the marches and bombings and turmoil in the streets that were broadcast on the evening news. It was a place of inner turmoil, where ordinary people struggled to right themselves on a social landscape that was dramatically shifting beneath their feet. This is the world of Valerie Fraser Luesse's stunning debut, Missing Isaac.
It is 1965 when black field hand Isaac Reynolds goes missing from the tiny, unassuming town of Glory, Alabama. The townspeople's reactions range from concern to indifference, but one boy will stop at nothing to find out what happened to his unlikely friend. White, wealthy, and fatherless, young Pete McLean has nothing to gain and everything to lose in his relentless search for Isaac. In the process, he will discover much more than he bargained for. Before it's all over, Pete--and the people he loves most--will have to blur the hard lines of race, class, and religion. And what they discover about themselves may change some of them forever.
About The Author
Valerie Fraser Luesse is an award-winning magazine writer best known for her feature stories and essays in Southern Living, where she is currently a senior travel editor. Her work has been anthologized in the audio collection Southern Voices and in A Glimpse of Heaven, an essay collection featuring works by C. S. Lewis, Randy Alcorn, John Wesley, and others. As a freelance writer and editor, she was the lead writer for Southern Living 50 Years: A Celebration of People, Places, and Culture. Specializing in stories about unique pockets of Southern culture, Luesse has published major pieces on the Gulf Coast, the Mississippi Delta, Louisiana's Acadian Prairie, and the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Her editorial section on Hurricane Katrina recovery in Mississippi and Louisiana won the 2009 Writer of the Year award from the Southeast Tourism Society. Luesse earned her bachelor's degree in English at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama, and her master's degree in English at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. She grew up in Harpersville, Alabama, a rural community in Shelby County, and now lives in Birmingham.
This is a debut novel by this author, and it sure won’t be my last to enjoy by her, she sure has won me over, a read that felt like I was watching as this story unfolded.
There is a lot of pain and heartache here and when we face growing up in the 1960’s Alabama, and meet prejudice head on. This is Pete’s story and his family that found the town of “Glory”, the setting of this story.
While the author has us walking in Pete’s shoes, we experience and walk with others in this community, and learn a lot of life lessons here. While things don’t always turn out how we want them to, there are a lot of surprises here, both good and bad.
A warning that once you start, you won’t be able to stop, and I could have used a few more epilogues, I wanted to spend more time with these characters.
I received this book through Revell Publishing Blogger Program, and was not required to give a positive review.
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