" The Risen is an important novel -- and an intriguing one -- from one of our master storytellers. In its pages, the past rises up, haunting and chiding, demanding answers of us all." -- The News & Observer
New York Times bestselling author Ron Rash demonstrates his superb narrative skills in this suspenseful and evocative tale of two brothers whose lives are altered irrevocably by the events of one long-ago summer, one bewitching young woman--and the secrets that could destroy their lives.Read more...
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"The Risen is an important novel -- and an intriguing one -- from one of our master storytellers. In its pages, the past rises up, haunting and chiding, demanding answers of us all." --The News & Observer
New York Times bestselling author Ron Rash demonstrates his superb narrative skills in this suspenseful and evocative tale of two brothers whose lives are altered irrevocably by the events of one long-ago summer, one bewitching young woman--and the secrets that could destroy their lives.
While swimming in a secluded creek on a hot Sunday in 1969, sixteen-year-old Eugene and his older brother, Bill, meet the entrancing Ligeia. A sexy, free-spirited redhead from Daytona Beach banished to their small North Carolina town, Ligeia entrances the brothers, especially Eugene, who is drawn to her raw sensuality and rebellious attitude. Eugene begins to move farther and farther away from his brother, the cautious and dutiful Bill, and when Ligeia vanishes as suddenly as she appeared, the growing rift between the two brothers becomes immutable.
Decades later, the once close brothers now lead completely different lives. Bill is a gifted and successful surgeon, and a paragon of the community, while Eugene, the town reprobate, is a failed writer and determined alcoholic. When a shocking reminder of the past unexpectedly surfaces, Eugene is plunged back into that fateful summer, and the girl he cannot forget.
The deeper Eugene delves into his memories, the closer he comes to finding the truth. But can Eugene's recollections be trusted? And will the truth set him free and offer salvation . . . or destroy his damaged life and everyone he loves?
Book clubs: Philosophy served here
Sarah Bakewell pays tribute to some of the modern era’s greatest thinkers in the intriguing nonfiction book At the Existentialist Café. Focusing on Paris in the 1930s, Bakewell delivers a fascinating account of philosophers Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir and Maurice Merleau-Ponty, whose careers converged in the City of Light, and whose radical new ideas shaped the existentialist movement. Bakewell skillfully lays out a history of the movement, which espoused individual freedom and personal choice. Appearances by literary heavyweights like Iris Murdoch, Albert Camus, James Baldwin and Richard Wright add to the grandeur of her tale. Unsurprisingly, Sartre—who could be tyrannical and cold-natured—looms largest in this masterful group portrait. As Bakewell demonstrates, his ideas informed both the feminist and gay rights movements. Fans of literary history and philosophy will find much to savor in her elegant chronicle of Paris during its intellectual prime.
ONE FATEFUL SUMMER
Set in Asheville, North Carolina, Ron Rash’s The Risen is a suspenseful Southern tale about fractured families and the ways in which the past infiltrates the present. During the summer of 1969, the lives of brothers Bill and Eugene Watney are forever altered when they meet a free-spirited, fun-loving child of the times named Ligeia. Ligeia has come to North Carolina from Florida to stay with her clean-cut relatives. To the Watney boys—especially younger brother Eugene—she’s a seductive, out-of-the-ordinary figure. When she goes missing, the questions surrounding her disappearance cause ripples throughout their small community. The novel is narrated by a middle-aged Eugene, now a struggling writer with a drinking problem. The experiences of that long-ago summer take on fresh meaning for him when the skeleton of a woman is discovered in a creek. The story of what happened to Ligeia makes for a taut page-turner of a novel. Rash’s many gifts as a writer are on full display in this haunting tale.
TOP PICK FOR BOOK CLUBS
In her compelling novel Truly Madly Guilty, Liane Moriarty explores the challenges of relationships through her resonant portrayal of three families. Old friends Erika and Clementine are opposites. Clementine, a cellist and mother of two, leads a somewhat topsy-turvy life, while slightly neurotic Erika works as an accountant. When the women and their families are invited to a barbecue at the home of Erika’s affluent neighbors, the alcohol-infused afternoon is interrupted by an upsetting incident that alters the perspectives of everyone present. As the novel progresses, Moriarty skillfully depicts the sense of guilt and regret felt by the partygoers. Exploring the ways in which seemingly insignificant choices can shape a life, she delivers a convincing, compassionate account of tested friendships and frayed marriages. Fans of Moriarty’s previous bestsellers, including Big Little Lies and The Husband’s Secret, won’t be disappointed by this absorbing, sharply executed novel.