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Late One Night: A Novel Hardcover – May 3, 2016
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In this one-main-street Plains town, folks have known each other for generations. When Ronnie and Della got into a "snort and holler" right in the sundries store, neighbors heard, and when Ronnie left Della and their seven kids for Brandi, they gossiped. So everybody wondered: Was Ronnie guilty of setting the fire that trapped Della and their three youngest children that blustery January night? Martin parcels out hints to the mystery, but life in Goldengate goes on, and his characters develop as they react. Crotchety neighbor Shooter Rowe thinks ill of Ronnie, but Captain, his disabled son, adores him. Godparents Missy and Pat seek custody of the surviving children, but Missy frets that she's misjudged Ronnie. Brandi, pregnant with Ronnie's baby, desperately believes he's innocent. Even Ronnie, despite evidence implicating him, evokes sympathy.
The blacktop road leading to the trailer in a barren cornfield, wisps of snow snaking across the road, the blue-gray winter skies evoke the spare Goldengate life and the town's sorrow. But redemption comes with forgiveness and generosity, and "a chance to do something good, to let people know they weren't alone." In the end, Martin's story inspires hope. --Cheryl Krocker McKeon, manager, Book Passage, San Francisco
Discover: A trailer fire on a cold Illinois night might be arson; Lee Martin's taut novel reveals the townspeoples' response and, eventually, the answer. --Shelf Awareness
". . .riveting. . .a must read." ~ Christopher Purdy, WOSU All Sides Weekend Books.
"In Late One Night, Lee Martin crafts a graceful and nuanced story of heartbreak, guilt, and reckoning driven by a small town's quest for justice after an arson fire claims a man's estranged wife and three children. Martin's brilliant characterization and command of language captivate the reader as the story unfolds, revealing lives worn thin by imperfect, desperate acts of love and survival." ~ The Kenyon Review
"In his latest novel, Late One Night, Lee Martin explores how a town unravels into gossip and accusations after a man's wife and three of his seven children die in a fire that destroys their mobile home. . . .if you're looking for a Father's Day gift for someone who loves to read, whether a loving father or a friend who always wishes they had a good one, Martin's work offers something special." ~ Ploughshares
From the Author
(Thank you to John Dufresne for the interview questions that led to this response, and to The Brooklyn Rail for running the interview).
- Item Weight : 1.13 pounds
- Hardcover : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9781938103490
- ISBN-13 : 978-1938103490
- Publisher : Dzanc Books (May 3, 2016)
- Product Dimensions : 4 x 1 x 6 inches
- Language: : English
- ASIN : 1938103491
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,325,948 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews: