Wednesday, January 09, 2013

What Dies in Summer by Tom Wright

Now that we’re in the dead of January, a lush, lazy summer novel set in small town Texas may be just the thing you’re craving. If so, What Dies in Summer is the perfect choice.

Jim, a laid back teenager better known as “Biscuit” and his moody cousin “L.A,” (short for Lee Ann) are both living with their Gram to escape bad home situations. School is out for the summer, and Biscuit and L.A. are free to roam, looking for entertainment and killing time. When they discover the body of a teenage girl in a remote field, they are suddenly thrust into a disquieting, malevolent world in which their lives could be in grave danger. Told in first person by Jim, who displays great maturity for his years, Tom Wright’s novel has an immediacy to it that will grab your attention from the first sentence. And if, like me, you spent much of your childhood making mischief with beloved cousins, you will appreciate the close relationship between Biscuit and L.A. Part thriller, part ghost story and part family saga, you won’t be able to put this one down until the very last page.

If you enjoy this sultry coming of age novel with its sinister twists and turns, you will also appreciate The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold and Stephen King’s novella “The Body,” which can be found in his collection, Different Seasons. An excellent film adaptation of "The Body," Stand by Me starring Kiefer Sutherland and River Phoenix, is also perfect for escaping cold weather.

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