A Novel
Product Number: EB00650335
Released: Mar 11, 2016
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9781619022720
Publisher: Counterpoint Press
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"A compelling portrait of a small Kentucky town, with its tragedies, pleasures, and crimes, with its fallen heroes, its agoraphobics, and its young lovers." —Bonnie Jo Campbell, bestselling author of Once Upon a River In 1969, Cementville, Kentucky, is known for its excellent bourbon and passable cement, direct from the factory that gives the town its name. The favored sons of Cementville's prominent families joined the National Guard, hoping to avoid the draft and the killing fields of Vietnam. They were sent to combat anyway, and seven have died in a single horrific ambush. The novel opens as the coffins make their way home, along with one survivor, the now-maimed quarterback rescued from a prison camp. Yet the return of the bodies sets off something inside the town itself—a sense of violence, a gnawing unease with the future—and soon, new bodies start turning up, pushing Cementville into further alienation and grief. As the story progresses we meet Maureen, the sister of a returned solider, who attempts to document the changes in her town; Harlan, whose PTSD bends his mind in terrifying ways; Evelyn, a descendant of Cementville's founders and no stranger to what grief does to a family; Giang, the war bride who flees the violence of Vietnam only to encounter echoes of it in her new home; and the notorious Ferguson clan, led by the violent Levon and his draft-dodging younger brother, who carry a secret that could tear the town apart. With the Civil Rights Act only a few years old, a restless citizenry divided over the war, and the women's movement sending tremors through families, Cementville is "a brilliant and deeply compassionate study of grief, violence, loneliness, and love. . . . a stunning debut—a perfect novel with deep implications for our own time" (Lee Smith). "Nods to not only Dickens but Nathaniel Hawthorne and Shirley Jackson too." —Atlanta Journal Constitution

Author(s): Paulette Livers
Original Publish Date: Mar 18, 2014

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