Thursday, January 31, 2008

Review: Ron Rash

The World Made Straight
; by Ron Rash, published 2006

Seventeen-year-old Travis Shelton thinks he's struck it rich when he discovers a hoard of marijuana hidden deep in the woods of Madison County, North Carolina. But the plants belong to Carlton Toomey, alternate farmer and community drug dealer, who gets vicious when people mess with his stash... Rejected by his strict father, Travis moves in with an ex-history professor and drug dealer, who begins teaching Travis about the history of Madison County, the Civil War, and Travis's own ancestors who were killed in the Shelton Massacre of 1863.

Ron Rash intertwines suspense, history, and poetic writing in this powerful novel. He's a master of description, and every tobacco leaf and speckled trout is as vivid as a memory. Rash refuses to sugar-coat the South, creating realistic, believable characters who you root for until the very end.

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