2020 Longlist



2020 Longlist

One sweltering night in 2013, four former high school classmates converge on their hometown in north-eastern Ohio. There’s Bill Ashcraft, a passionate, drug-abusing young activist whose flailing ambitions have taken him from Cambodia to Zuccotti Park to post-BP New Orleans, and now back home with a mysterious package strapped to the undercarriage of his truck; Stacey Moore, a doctoral candidate reluctantly confronting her family and the mother of her best friend and first love, whose disappearance spurs the mystery at the heart of the novel; Dan Eaton, a shy veteran of three tours in Iraq, home for a dinner date with the high school sweetheart he’s tried desperately to forget; and the beautiful, fragile Tina Ross, whose rendezvous with the washed-up captain of the football team triggers the novel’s shocking climax.

About the Author

Stephen Markley is an author, screenwriter, and journalist. Markley’s previous books include the memoir Publish This Book: The Unbelievable True Story of How I Wrote, Sold, and Published This Very Book, and the travelogue Tales of Iceland. He lives in Los Angeles.

Librarian’s Comments

Set in a declining rustbelt town, this novel moves back and forth in time to reveal the interconnected lives of four high school classmates. Haunted by the lies and betrayals of their shared past and facing the grim realities of poverty, war, racism, drug addiction and sexual violence , they fight to pursue their dreams. The plot is almost a catalog of the most troubling and controversial issues of our era, but Markley never lets his subject matter overwhelm his characters. They remain nuanced and believable and their doomed trajectory is as heartbreaking as it is inevitable. Laramie County Library System, USA



Simon and Schuster


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