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Review: Where All Light Tends to Go by David Joy

Blurb from Goodreads:
In the country-noir tradition of Winter's Bone meets 'Breaking Bad,' a savage and beautiful story of a young man seeking redemption.

The area surrounding Cashiers, North Carolina, is home to people of all kinds, but the world that Jacob McNeely lives in is crueler than most. His father runs a methodically organized meth ring, with local authorities on the dime to turn a blind eye to his dealings. Having dropped out of high school and cut himself off from his peers, Jacob has been working for this father for years, all on the promise that his payday will come eventually.  The only joy he finds comes from reuniting with Maggie, his first love, and a girl clearly bound for bigger and better things than their hardscrabble town.

Jacob has always been resigned to play the cards that were dealt him, but when a fatal mistake changes everything, he’s faced with a choice: stay and appease his father, or leave the mountains with the girl he loves. In a place where blood is thicker than water and hope takes a back seat to fate, Jacob wonders if he can muster the strength to rise above the only life he’s ever known. 
My Review:
Wow.  No, seriously, WOW. I don't know what it is about the South, but it's almost like nothing has happened in those towns near the Appalachian Mountains in the past one hundred plus years.  I imagine that there are these lost civilizations, these pockets of extreme poverty where life is still like it was one hundred years ago . . . and that was in the back of my mind the entire time I was reading this book.  My point in telling you this is that the language of this book, the inner dialogue of Jacob, every single word I read put me that mountain town in North Carolina.  

I highly recommend this to fans of gritty literary fiction.   This book is a glorious debut and I cant wait to read more from this author!  This is the type of book that sticks to your ribs, and the ending will leave you reeling.  However, my favorite part was the voice of Jacob -- it was so real, so southern, so heartbreaking and desolate.  The descriptions of the landscape and the feeling of the setting were impeccable.  I got lost in this book and could not put it down.

Where All Light Tends to Go came out earlier this year, you can purchase HERE, and I highly, HIGHLY recommend it! 
I'd never had anyone ask me to let them in.  Inside was a place most folks wouldn't have ever wanted to glimpse, much less be a part of, but Maggie had always been banging on the door.  Maggie had always been trying her damnedest to take part of the weight off me, and I'd never let her.  I couldn't let her then, and I wasn't sure that I could let her now, but the one thing that was for certain was that I'd carried that weight for too long.  I'd carried it until I was almost broken, and the only thing that had ever come along and offered to fix any of it, whether she held that power or not, was her.


  1. I haven't seen this before but man it sounds good! I like gritty so I will be checking this out. Great review!!

  2. I've never head of this series before either girl but I can really tell you enjoyed it! <3 I'll be taking a look at it! xoxo

  3. Wonderful review! AND David Joy has another book coming in 2016; I can't wait to see what he has for us next.

  4. I don't think I've read a literary fiction book, but this sounds amazing, Eva. I love the sound of Jacob especially. I'll need to check it out for sure.
    Lovely review, Eva!

  5. Wow, this sounds REALLY good! I have seen it in passing, but I hadn't read a review of it yet. I LOVE the isolation thing- for some reason, I am always drawn to those kinds of places. The ones that are so intriguing to read about, but you would never want to live there yourself! Thanks for the great review, I am definitely going to add this one to my TBR!
    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

  6. Wow, I've never heard of this book but that cover is just so intriguing. That premise too! I am officially adding it to my immediate tbr list for sure.

  7. Sounds like a different but wonderful story, Eva. I hope Jacob picks love! Wonderful review! :)


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