Hub City. May 2015. 240p. ISBN 9781938235115. $24.95. F
OrangeReviewStarIn this 2014 South Carolina First Novel Prize winner, the title character's father is dying, and with money the family can hardly spare, young Minnow sets out to buy medicine from a local pharmacist. When he's turned away by the pharmacist and sent to a local hoodoo healer, Dr. Crow, Minnow launches a quest that will take him deep into the mysterious South Carolina low country—the sea islands. Dr. Crow will not help Minnow until he delivers soil from the grave of Sorry George, an infamous practitioner of black magic. Minnow faces great adversity as he searches for the grave, including three terrible events that he is told to look for and face straight on, as indeed he does. With no resources but youth and determination and only a ragged dog for company, Minnow journeys forward, unknowingly traveling farther out onto the islands when a powerful storm comes in from the sea.
VERDICT Readers will sink into this novel like sinking into South Carolina pluff mud, feeling the tension like oppressive humidity, and wondering what obstacle the protagonist will face next and what sacrifices he will endure for his family. A compellingly dark debut full of Southern mystery and lore.

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