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Bedrock Faith

by

Bedrock Faith Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A Women's Book Group Discussion Selection, Women and Children First Bookstore

One of O, The Oprah Magazine's Ten Books to Pick Up Now, April 2014

Shortlisted for the 2014 Great Lakes Great Reads Award

One of Five Books to Read Now, Chicago Tribune/Printers Row

Eric Charles May was named one of 25 Writers to Watch by Guild Literary Complex

Named a Notable African-American Title by Publishers Weekly

"In this vivid, suspenseful, funny, and compassionate novel of epiphanies, tragedies, and transformations, May drills down to our bedrock assumptions about ourselves, our values, and our communities. As sturdy as a Chicago bungalow and bursting with life, Mays debut is perfect for book clubs."

--Booklist (starred review)

"Mays expansive first novel reveals the complicated emotional economy that holds together a neighborhood in crisis…Mays vivid descriptions of the rhythms of life in the suburb…reveal vibrant lives in ordinary houses."

--Publishers Weekly

"May slowly builds suspense as he persuasively unfolds the narrative in this work that reads like an Agatha Christie mystery. The characters, even those whose names are never mentioned, are versatile and relatable, and Mays descriptions embody a tapestry of words."

--Library Journal

"May 'persuasively unfolds the narrative,' and critics are buzzing."

--Library Journal, naming Bedrock Faith a "Best Debut" for Spring

"A perceptive and entrancing meditation on friendship and family, love and forgiveness."

--Kirkus Reviews

"Bedrock Faith is a strong, engaging novel--full of warmth and charm and honesty."

--Bookforum

"Bedrock Faith isnt a short read, but its a rich one, and the characters are engaging."

--Ebony Mag

"Fast-paced...suspenseful and meditative in equal measure."

--Chicago Reader

"A compelling look at a tight-knit community battling a threat from within."

--Chicago Social Magazine

"Mrs. Motley is a creation the likes of whom many authors only dream of achieving...It is a gifted author who can show us such three-dimensional characters and make them come to life."

--KGB Bar Lit Magazine

"Eric Charles May and James Baldwin share more than skin color and writing passion. They are masters of the complicated operas that unfold in a particular place, of the complexities and frailties of mankind. Bedrock Faith is Mays first novel, and since approaching Baldwin is no idle feat, one only hopes hell write more."

--Newcity

"The depth and the magnetism and the humor of Eric Charles Mays truly unforgettable characters makes this a neighborhood well worth visiting."

--New York Journal of Books

"Bedrock Faith is an entertaining and heartfelt novel, and it provides an important look at a side of Chicago that is under-represented in today's literary fiction."

--Chicago Center for Literature and Photography

"Once I got started, I could not put [Bedrock Faith] down. I couldn't wait to see what was coming next, which of the neighbors would get their comeuppance and who would emerge as the final victor, Stew Pot or the people of Parkland."

--Read for Pleasure

"Eric Charles May is a gem of a writer."

--I've Read This

"Eric Charles May's first novel is delightful to read. There are a host of characters, each given the opportunity to tell their story, and there is plenty of action. Readers are welcomed into Parkland from the first page."

--Reeling and Writhing and Fainting in Coils

"A wonderful urban novel full of vitality and pathos and grit. I dug the ever-living hell out of it."

--Dennis Lehane, author of Live By Night

After fourteen years in prison, Gerald "Stew Pot" Reeves, age thirty-one, returns home to live with his mom in Parkland, a black middle-class neighborhood on Chicago's South Side. A frightening delinquent before being sent away, his return sends Parkland residents into a religiously infused tailspin, which only increases when Stew Pot announces that he experienced a religious awakening in prison.

Review:

"May's expansive first novel reveals the complicated emotional economy that holds together a neighborhood in crisis. When Gerald 'Stew Pot' Reeves returns home after spending most of his adult life in prison for assault, his old neighbors are dismayed: in the quiet Chicago suburb of Parkland, Stew Pot was an unrepentant troublemaker who even burned down sweet Mrs. Motley's garage next door. Then Stew Pot shows up at Mrs. Motley's door asking for a Bible, and she urges the neighborhood association to give him a second shot. But Stew Pot's newfound contrition comes at a price: as he joins community life again, he begins to judge his neighbors for their bad behavior, interrupting them on dates and authoring a newsletter called 'The Burning Bush' that warns them of sin. Feeling bullied in their own homes, residents of Parkland decide to strike back. May's vivid descriptions of the rhythms of life in the suburb, whose tight-knit middle-class families are unwilling to face a problem that can't be solved by law, contrast with the largely unexplained motives of Stew Pot, who swings from harmless pest to violent menace. Yet, portrayed from a variety of perspectives that reveal vibrant lives in ordinary houses, Parkland is just as captivating when its most troubled son is not in the picture, as decades-old grudges and feuds come to light." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

A deeply engaging debut novel about a morality clash in an insular Chicago neighborhood.

Synopsis:

One of Roxane Gay's Top 10 Books of 2014

One of Booklist's Top 10 First Novels of 2014

One of the Chicago Reader's Favorite Books of 2014

A Women's Book Group Discussion Selection, Women and Children First Bookstore

One of O, The Oprah Magazine's Ten Books to Pick Up Now, April 2014

Shortlisted for the 2014 Great Lakes Great Reads Award

Longlisted for The Morning News's 2015 Tournament of Books

One of Five Books to Read Now, Chicago Tribune/Printers Row

Eric Charles May was named one of 25 Writers to Watch by Guild Literary Complex and one of the Lit 50 2014 by Newcity

Named a Notable African-American Title by Publishers Weekly

"In this vivid, suspenseful, funny, and compassionate novel of epiphanies, tragedies, and transformations, May drills down to our bedrock assumptions about ourselves, our values, and our communities. As sturdy as a Chicago bungalow and bursting with life, May's debut is perfect for book clubs."

--Booklist (starred review)

"In May's vivid, suspenseful, funny, compassionate and epiphanic first novel, the decorous Mrs. Motley, a retired librarian, along with her close-knit, gossipy Chicago South Side community, dreads the return of the notorious Stew Pot Reeves."

--Booklist, naming Bedrock Faith a Top 10 First Novel of 2014

"May's expansive first novel reveals the complicated emotional economy that holds together a neighborhood in crisis...May's vivid descriptions of the rhythms of life in the suburb...reveal vibrant lives in ordinary houses."

--Publishers Weekly

After fourteen years in prison, Gerald "Stew Pot" Reeves, age thirty-one, returns home to live with his mom in Parkland, a black middle-class neighborhood on Chicago's South Side. A frightening delinquent before being sent away, his return sends Parkland residents into a religiously infused tailspin, which only increases when Stew Pot announces that he experienced a religious awakening in prison. Most neighbors are skeptical of this claim, with one notable exception: Mrs. Motley, a widowed retiree and the Reeves's next-door neighbor who loans Stew Pot a Bible, which is seen by Stew Pot and many in the community as a friendly gesture.

With uncompromising fervor (and with a new pit bull named John the Baptist), Stew Pot appoints himself the moral judge of Parkland. He discovers that a woman on his block is a lesbian and outs her to the neighborhood, the first battle in an escalating war of wills with immediate neighbors: after a mild threat from the block club president, Stew Pot reveals a secret that leaves the president's marriage in ruin; after catching a woman from across the street snooping around his backyard, Stew Pot commits an act of intimidation that leads directly to her death.

Stew Pot's prison mentor, an African American albino named Brother Crown, is released from prison not long after and moves in with Stew Pot and his mom. His plan is to go on a revival tour, with Stew Pot as his assistant. One night, as Stew Pot, Mrs. Reeves, and Brother Crown are witnessing around the neighborhood, a teenager from the block attempts to burn down the Reeves home. He botches the job and instead sets fire to Mrs. Motley's house. She is just barely rescued, but her house is a total loss and she moves in with a nearby family. Neighbors are sure Stew Pot is behind the fire. The retaliations against Stew Pot continue, sending him over an emotional ledge as his life spirals out of control with grave consequences. Through the unforgettable characters of Stew Pot and Mrs. Motley, the novel provides a reflection on God, the living and the dead, and the possibilities of finding love without reservation.

About the Author

Eric Charles May is an associate professor in the Fiction Writing department at Columbia College Chicago. A Chicago native and former reporter for the Washington Post, his fiction has appeared in the magazines Fish Stories, F, and Criminal Class. In addition to his Post reporting, his nonfiction has appeared in Sport Literate, the Chicago Tribune, and the personal essay anthology Briefly Knocked Unconscious by a Low-Flying Duck. Bedrock Faith is his first novel.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781617751967
Author:
May, Eric Charles
Publisher:
Akashic Books
Subject:
Humor : General
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20140331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
420
Dimensions:
8 x 6 in

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Humor » General
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » African American » General
Reference » Science Reference » Philosophy of Science
Religion » Christianity » Christian Fiction

Bedrock Faith Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 In Stock
Product details 420 pages Akashic Books - English 9781617751967 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "May's expansive first novel reveals the complicated emotional economy that holds together a neighborhood in crisis. When Gerald 'Stew Pot' Reeves returns home after spending most of his adult life in prison for assault, his old neighbors are dismayed: in the quiet Chicago suburb of Parkland, Stew Pot was an unrepentant troublemaker who even burned down sweet Mrs. Motley's garage next door. Then Stew Pot shows up at Mrs. Motley's door asking for a Bible, and she urges the neighborhood association to give him a second shot. But Stew Pot's newfound contrition comes at a price: as he joins community life again, he begins to judge his neighbors for their bad behavior, interrupting them on dates and authoring a newsletter called 'The Burning Bush' that warns them of sin. Feeling bullied in their own homes, residents of Parkland decide to strike back. May's vivid descriptions of the rhythms of life in the suburb, whose tight-knit middle-class families are unwilling to face a problem that can't be solved by law, contrast with the largely unexplained motives of Stew Pot, who swings from harmless pest to violent menace. Yet, portrayed from a variety of perspectives that reveal vibrant lives in ordinary houses, Parkland is just as captivating when its most troubled son is not in the picture, as decades-old grudges and feuds come to light." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by ,
A deeply engaging debut novel about a morality clash in an insular Chicago neighborhood.

"Synopsis" by ,
One of Roxane Gay's Top 10 Books of 2014

One of Booklist's Top 10 First Novels of 2014

One of the Chicago Reader's Favorite Books of 2014

A Women's Book Group Discussion Selection, Women and Children First Bookstore

One of O, The Oprah Magazine's Ten Books to Pick Up Now, April 2014

Shortlisted for the 2014 Great Lakes Great Reads Award

Longlisted for The Morning News's 2015 Tournament of Books

One of Five Books to Read Now, Chicago Tribune/Printers Row

Eric Charles May was named one of 25 Writers to Watch by Guild Literary Complex and one of the Lit 50 2014 by Newcity

Named a Notable African-American Title by Publishers Weekly

"In this vivid, suspenseful, funny, and compassionate novel of epiphanies, tragedies, and transformations, May drills down to our bedrock assumptions about ourselves, our values, and our communities. As sturdy as a Chicago bungalow and bursting with life, May's debut is perfect for book clubs."

--Booklist (starred review)

"In May's vivid, suspenseful, funny, compassionate and epiphanic first novel, the decorous Mrs. Motley, a retired librarian, along with her close-knit, gossipy Chicago South Side community, dreads the return of the notorious Stew Pot Reeves."

--Booklist, naming Bedrock Faith a Top 10 First Novel of 2014

"May's expansive first novel reveals the complicated emotional economy that holds together a neighborhood in crisis...May's vivid descriptions of the rhythms of life in the suburb...reveal vibrant lives in ordinary houses."

--Publishers Weekly

After fourteen years in prison, Gerald "Stew Pot" Reeves, age thirty-one, returns home to live with his mom in Parkland, a black middle-class neighborhood on Chicago's South Side. A frightening delinquent before being sent away, his return sends Parkland residents into a religiously infused tailspin, which only increases when Stew Pot announces that he experienced a religious awakening in prison. Most neighbors are skeptical of this claim, with one notable exception: Mrs. Motley, a widowed retiree and the Reeves's next-door neighbor who loans Stew Pot a Bible, which is seen by Stew Pot and many in the community as a friendly gesture.

With uncompromising fervor (and with a new pit bull named John the Baptist), Stew Pot appoints himself the moral judge of Parkland. He discovers that a woman on his block is a lesbian and outs her to the neighborhood, the first battle in an escalating war of wills with immediate neighbors: after a mild threat from the block club president, Stew Pot reveals a secret that leaves the president's marriage in ruin; after catching a woman from across the street snooping around his backyard, Stew Pot commits an act of intimidation that leads directly to her death.

Stew Pot's prison mentor, an African American albino named Brother Crown, is released from prison not long after and moves in with Stew Pot and his mom. His plan is to go on a revival tour, with Stew Pot as his assistant. One night, as Stew Pot, Mrs. Reeves, and Brother Crown are witnessing around the neighborhood, a teenager from the block attempts to burn down the Reeves home. He botches the job and instead sets fire to Mrs. Motley's house. She is just barely rescued, but her house is a total loss and she moves in with a nearby family. Neighbors are sure Stew Pot is behind the fire. The retaliations against Stew Pot continue, sending him over an emotional ledge as his life spirals out of control with grave consequences. Through the unforgettable characters of Stew Pot and Mrs. Motley, the novel provides a reflection on God, the living and the dead, and the possibilities of finding love without reservation.

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