Some Go Home

Norton. Jul. 2020. 304p. ISBN 9780393249521. $26.95. F
DEBUT Combat veteran Colleen is trying to escape a troubled past, while husband Derby is trying to escape the shadow of his father, Hare Hobbs, who was thought guilty but not convicted of a civil rights–era murder. As Colleen fights addictions, Derby busies himself with the restoration of a mansion in Pitchlynn, MS, a town trying to reinvent itself as “quaint.” Mansion owner DJ wants to do it in contemporary colors, which brings on the ire of local bluenose Susan Geoge Wallis. The mansion is at the emblematic center of this highly realistic novel of local color, with several plot lines developing almost as a series of novellas and even tracing back to the 1964 murder. Twins almost make things better for Colleen and Derby, but not quite—Colleen takes off for a multiyear car trip to find herself, which she seems to do. Meanwhile, DJ gives up and returns to Chicago, and Hare Hobbs, awash in publicity around a retrial for the murder, goes out in a blaze, but not of glory.
VERDICT Smooth and evocative, the writing truly brings the town of Pitchlynn to life. A fine first novel in the lasting tradition of Southern fiction.
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