Hall's novel captures the timelessness of its rural setting, creating in Capernum a small community struggling against its own stagnation, where everything private is public; religion is ubiquitous in everyday life; and politeness and hospitality are the default even in times of doubt and fear. The last is particularly significant, as much is left unsaid in the book's excellently crafted dialogue for just those reasons. Around those lies of omission, the story thrives on illustrating little moments that speak volumes, from an infant's grip on its mother's finger and a sidelong glance from a wife to an unnoticing husband to a daughter's refusal to turn on a light in the presence of her sick mother. These instants are often both loving and cruel, obvious to the reader, and even more heartbreaking for going unseen by the characters.
"A vivid and authentic tale about family secrets." -Kirkus Reviews