In a stunning debut novel reminiscent of Pat Conroy's work, Jeffrey Lent creates a saga spanning three generations. Beginning at the end of the Civil War, In the Fall traces the secrets that both poison and redeem an interracial family. It received starred reviews from Booklist, Kirkus Reviews, and Publishers Weekly. As the Civil War ends, Norman Pelham, a wounded Yankee soldier, is rescued by Leah, a runaway slave. When he is well enough to travel, they walk north to his family's farm in Vermont. But Leah's bitter history, laced with cruelty, quickly begins to color their union. The violence that compelled Leah to flee her birthplace will later drive her son to a life of crime, and her grandson back to the South in search of the lost links to his heritage. The generations of the Pelhams find that they can go home again. But the results are far darker than they expect. As this gripping novel brings the Pelham legacy full circle, narrator Tom Stechschulte's rich, expressive voice heightens each revelation.
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"Tom Stechschulte never quite masters a New England accent, and his characterizations of women seem wan compared to those of his men. But those weaknesses only make his enormous gifts as a narrator seem even more potent. His whiskey voice brings gravity to Lent's novel, an expansive three-generational drama that begins with an interracial romance at the end of the Civil War. The novel is overly long and relentlessly grim, yet Stechschulte's understated intensity keeps the listener focused. The reward comes at Lent's exquisite finale, when Stechsculte, with masterly pacing and controlled anger, reveals the secret that has afflicted a family across half a century. M.O. (c) AudioFile 2001, Portland, Maine"
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