Harlen LeBlanc is the groundskeeper at a highschool and is well known in town for being a bit insular. He finds himself embroiled in a town scandal and commits himself to getting to the truth of what happened. In alternating chapters, we get the story of Michael, a young boy whose father has just returned from prison. Michael is unquieted by his father’s actions and wants to do anything he can to protect his family. Slowly, the two stories unravel and weave together in a way that is breathtaking.
Oh, I loved this book. I literally was up til 3am one night because I couldn’t put it down. The writing is so evocative. I loved the stark narrative of life interwoven with philosophical and spiritual passages. This was the reading experience I wanted when reading Razorblade Tears, if you liked that book, this will be right up your alley. It reminded me of the writing of vintage John Grisham, a la A Time to Kill or The Chamber – the examination of good and evil and how easily they cohabitate. This story was full of raw emotion that made my jaw ache as I read. Harlen made me want to be a little nicer to strangers because you just never know what deep emotion and honor lies within a person.
I’m off to add all of James Wade’s backlist to my TBR.
Thanks to Blackstone Publishing for access to this novel via Netgalley. All opinions above are my own.
This may end up on my top reads of the year list, have you started to think about yours?