***Bloomsbury lead summer fiction 2014 Mary Byrd Thornton could understand how a reporter couldn' t resist the story: a nine-year-old boy sexually molested and killed on Mother's Day, 1966. A suspect to whom nothing would stick. A neighborhood riddled with secrets. No one, especially the bungling or complicit authorities, had been able to solve the crime. Now, thirty years later, the reporter' s call will reel a reluctant Mary Byrd from Mississippi back to Virginia where she must confront her family-- and, once again, the murder' s irremovable stain of tragedy. Lisa Howorth' s remarkable Flying Shoes is a work of fiction, but the murder is based on the still-unsolved case of her stepbrother, a front page story in the Washington Post. And yet this is not a crime novel; it is an honest and luminous story of a particular time and place in the South, where even calamitous weather can be a character, everyone has a story, and all are inextricably entwined. With a flamboyant cast, splendid dark humor, a potent sense of history, and a shocking true story at its heart, Flying Shoes is a rich and candid novel from a fresh new southern voice about family and memory and one woman' s flight from a wounded past.
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"This story is advertised as a mystery, reopening a thirty-year-old unsolved murder case, but mystery is a very small part of the story. Debra Winger has an almost insurmountable task to keep listener interest. The story centers on unappealing Mary Bird and her relationships and interactions with other less-than-inviting characters, past and present. Winger uses a whiney voice, which is appropriate for Mary BirdÕs character but annoying to listen to. Rather than a mystery about the reopening and solving of a very cold case, the novel turns out to be a character study of unattractive individuals, written in a meandering style and delivered in an irritating voice. N.E.M. © AudioFile 2014, Portland, Maine"
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