There is so much to unpack in this book. Author Stephen Graham Jones takes readers back to his childhood, to a dusty Texas town where lives are lived one cotton module to the next, where famliies have been living and loving and lying to and about one another for generations. Parts of this are the results of conversations with people he has not seen in a very long time, talking about a mysterious fire that brought several deaths to the community… but even in those parts, it’s about so much more.
There’s a thing about Jones’ writing that is on full display here, that is wonderful. He takes you into his head. He writes, thinks twice about things, seques into memories and back and it’s not at all like fiction. It’s like you are sitting around a fire somewhere, sipping something strong, and listening, as he tells a story. His voice is so strong it replaces the story with images that start to feel like your own memories.
This is very, very good book. It fits in between the cracks of genres, but stitches them together with a blunt needle and thick thread, letting the characters, thoughts and memories slip through the seams to other places. Mystery, memoir, alternate or corrected history? All of that.
Very highly recommended.