FICTION

Marvel and a Wonder

Akashic. Sept. 2015. 336p. ISBN 9781617753930. $29.95; pap. ISBN 9781617753947. $15.95; ebk. ISBN 9781617754128. F
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OrangeReviewStarIn 1995, the fading farm town of Mount Holly, IN, has an air of mourning. Shops are empty and factory farms have muscled out people like Jim Falls, a struggling chicken farmer. A Korean War veteran with old-age ailments, he fights to survive each day while raising his biracial teenage grandson Quentin. With an off-putting weirdness, Quentin hides the pain of his absent drug-addicted mother by playing video games, sniffing glue, and raising exotic pets. A miraculous second chance arrives when a white mare is delivered in a shiny silver trailer by a man who hands Jim the papers of ownership but won't say from whom the horse is delivered. Jim knows very little about horses, but he does know that racing the animal will improve their lives. Quentin has already come out of his shell to care for the creature. Jim's hopes are dashed when two local meth dealers steal the horse to sell. Guided by the spirit of his dead wife and calling on a waning inner strength, Jim sets off with his grandson on an unforgettable adventure to reclaim the horse.
VERDICT Talented Meno has penned a wise and touching novel (after Office Girl) of love, loyalty, courage; an extraordinary book not to be missed.

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