Things You Would Know if You Grew Up Around Here

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Set in Texas in 2015 during record flooding that mimicked, for some, the stories of biblical times, Things You Would Know If You Grew Up Around Here is as beautiful as it is heartbreaking.

Boyd Montgomery, an eighteen-year-old empath, feels the pain of others so deeply that she can track her best friend Isaac when he is stranded during the floods. As she searches for Isaac, other parallel searches occur. Her mother and father, divorced, find their way back together to look for her; their neighbor, Carla, discovers a haven in women running an off-grid commune that has returned to simpler ways of living off the land, and Isaac’s schoolteacher father, Mr. King, has fallen into a mine shaft in search of a treasure no one is sure exists. These searches, rendered in startling detail and interspersed with moments of supernatural occurrences—scarecrows that walk, ghosts of people lost centuries before—converge in the rush and terror of a rising river during storm season that threatens to destroy all in its path.

Perhaps the most remarkable element of the novel, though, is the intercalary chapters that feature one character’s explanations for how life works in this part of the country. Much like similar chapters in The Grapes of Wrath, these chapters give context and definition to a world gone mad. This is easily one of the best books I’ve read in the last five years. It has stayed with me long after I finished reading it.


Reviewed By:

Author Nancy Wayson Dinan
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 336 pages
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing
Publish Date 2020-05-19
ISBN 9781635574432
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue May 2020
Category Popular Fiction
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