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A History of Saints by Julyan Davis

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The title page gives this description of the book, “A novel of identity and the dangers of indecision (or haste) during an economic downturn including dog handling, courtly love, gardening and cooking, sexual fluidity, belly dancing, poetry, loss and addiction.” The recession referred to is the one of 2008. As a result of it, Frank Reed, who owns Carolina Court, a Victorian House in Asheville, North Carolina, decides to rent out its rooms. “A leisurely comic, engaging tale about a boardinghouse’s strange denizens.” - Kirkus Reviews. “Anyone—especially Asheville natives, newcomers, and visitors—will greatly enjoy A History of Saints, a gentle-spirited satire of the kinds of people who land in that Appalachian sanctuary, ‘a no-kill shelter for the artists, the misfits, and the weird-do-well.’ Julyan Davis paints a vivid and affectionate portrait of the characters sharing a huge old ramshackle house, of their neighborhood and the slightly nutty city, and of the surrounding mountains, not just during the Great Recession of 2008, when the book is set, but in the years before and since. His first novel is a delight.” - Michael McFee. The author, Julyan Davis, was born in England but has lived in Asheville for more than thirty years. This is his first novel after a career as a painter, specializing in painting buildings.

Lexington, Kentucky: Shadeland Modern Press, 2021. 307 pages. Trade paperback.