Review: Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin

Crooked Letter1 “In the late 1970s, Larry Ott and Silas “32” Jones were boyhood pals. Their worlds were as different as night and day: Larry, the child of lower-middle-class white parents, and Silas, the son of a poor, single black mother. Yet for a few months the boys stepped outside of their circumstances and shared a special bond. But then tragedy struck: Larry took a girl on a date to a drive-in movie, and she was never heard from again. She was never found and Larry never confessed, but all eyes rested on him as the culprit. The incident shook the county and perhaps Silas most of all. His friendship with Larry was broken, and then Silas left town.

More than twenty years have passed. Larry, a mechanic, lives a solitary existence, never able to rise above the whispers of suspicion. Silas has returned as a constable. He and Larry have no reason to cross paths until another girl disappears and Larry is blamed again. And now the two men who once called each other friend are forced to confront the past they’ve buried and ignored for decades.” – Goodreads

This is a sad book, y’all. It does have its moments, true, but mostly there’s just this feeling of sorrow and regret floating over everything. Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin is not so much a mystery as it is a tale woven by memories, the fallout from the events these memories are of, and the people these characters have become because of it all. Just so you know: they haven’t all become wonderful people. Except for Larry. I loved sweet, sad Larry. I wanted so badly to drive to Chabot, and be his friend so he would no longer be so forlorn and alone! But, alas, I could not, because this is just a book. Kind of sad that I still have to remind myself of that at this advanced age… No, it is up to Silas and others in the town of Chabot to put things to rights around here, and we are kept waiting until the last minute to find whether or not that is going to happen. While this is not necessarily a feel-good read, Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter is a great book, and one that you should read soon.

4 out of 5 stars.

Who I would recommend this book to: My very former co-worker, Liz. She fully introduced me to the Literary Fiction genre 17 years ago (thanks, Liz!) and I can see this as a book she would have led me to (had it been around back then).

Source: Lincoln City Libraries Digital Downloads

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