This is Mark Powell's fifth novel. What I admire most about Mark Powell's writing is his dialogue. I find myself, over and over again, thinking - "Oh, my god, that is exactly what she would say in response to that!" Degrees from the Citadel and Yale? Yes, that's Mark! He's been kinda sailing under the radar, admired by affectionados of Appalachian Literature, but not widely known beyond. This may well be his breakthrough book. It is the story of a marriage in a small North Georgia town, but it is also a story about the impact of foreign wars on this generation of young parents. “A brilliant novelist at the top of his game. [This book] achieves that rare balance between complexity and pacing, a story rich and intricate, propulsive and satisfying. Mark Powell has been the South’s best-kept secret for far too long.” - David Joy. "An excellent, suspenseful ride... Powell digs deeply into some heavy themes, exploring pervasive violence and the startling path to radicalization that disaffected teens can find themselves on. In this well-constructed and believable story, there’s no easy way out for any of the characters. Readers will be eager to find out how these lyrical and tense stories entwine, and they eventually do, with surprising but inevitable results." - Publishers Weekly. “There is no doubt about it, Powell has established himself as a voice not only of Appalachia, but of all contemporary American literature." —Southern Literary Review. And for those of you who are awed by the trajectory of Appalachian Literature and how it parallels our region's economic history - Mary Murfree at Montvale Springs and Beersheeba Springs and then John Fox, Jr., following his brother's coal mine towns - now here is Mark Powell, whose dad is a realtor in South Carolina's Blue Ridge where Mark was raised. Mark Powell now teaches at Appalachian State University.
New York: Gallery/Simon & Schuster, 2017. 382 pages. Hardback in dust jacket.