This is the first novel by David Joy, a book that elevated Joy to the highest rank of Appalachian authors. Those who know David are not surprised that his first book was a non-fiction book about fishing, Growing Gills: A Fly Fisherman's Journey. And, those who know David will not be surprised at the adjective, "gritty" used to describe the characters and the action in this novel. The protagonist is Jacob McNeely who lives in southern Jackson County, North Carolina, deep in the mountains and is the son of a meth dealer. He is in love with Maggie, who, unlike Jacob, has always aspired to escape the mountains and go on to a more conventional life. “Gripping . . . Engaging characters, a well-realized setting, and poetic prose establish Joy as a novelist worth watching.”—Publishers Weekly. “Where All Light Tends to Go is deeply rooted in place, written in an assured, authentic voice. David Joy manages to be both lyrical and gritty, loving and horrifyingly violent, funny and grim. His picture of modern Appalachia is rich and evocative, with bold storytelling not often seen in a first novel.”—Ace Atkins. David Joy grew up in Charlotte with country kinfolks and has not left the mountains - except for book tours all over America and even in Europe - since he enrolled at Western Carolina University and started taking classes with Ron Rash!
New York: Putnam, 2015. 260 pages. Hardback in dust jacket.