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Between Heaven and Hereby Susan Straight
Synopses & Reviews
"The mysterious murder of a hooker kicks off this exquisitely wrought final installment (after Take One Candle Light a Room) of Straight's trilogy, set in fictional Rio Seco, California. When Glorette Picard's longtime admirer, Sidney, discovers her body in a shopping cart in an alley behind a taquerÃa, he fears the wrath or indifference of the police, and so claims her corpse as his responsibility, setting of a storm of consequences. Left behind to weather the world on his own is Glorette's young son, Victor, who memorizes SAT vocabulary words to drown out the crack dealers, and her uncle Enrique, who takes it upon himself to avenge her death. Straight plunges readers into a whirlwind of dialects, drugs, derelict homes, and delinquent locals as she weaves together the story of Glorette's life and death, while addressing weighty and timely issues like race, language, and the socioeconomically disenfranchised. Straight deftly avoids clichÃ©s and easy outs, and her refusal to vilify or sanctify the numerous members of her cast allows the experiences of each to resonate powerfully. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Glorette Picard is dead. Her body was found in the alley behind a taqueria, half-hidden by wild tobacco trees, but no one—not Sidney, who knew she worked that alley, not her son Victor who memorizes SAT words to avoid the guys selling rock out of dryers in the Launderland, not her uncle Enrique, who everyone knows will be the one to hunt down her killer—saw her die. As the close-knit residents of Rio Seco, California react to Glorettes murder, it becomes clear that her life and death are deeply entangled with the dark history of the city, and the untouchable beauty that, finally, killed her.
Just as Faulkner spent years populating his fictional Yoknapatawpha County, Susan Straight has captivated readers with her rich portrait of Rio Seco in novels such as A Million Nightingales and Take One Candle Light a Room. Rio Seco is a town deep in the groves, heavy with the sweet tang of citrus and the smell from the old morgue; its a place some will never leave. In Between Heaven and Here, the final novel in her Rio Seco trilogy, Susan Straight tells a story of unforgettable intimacy and intensity.
In August in Rio Seco, California, the ground is too hard to bury a body. But Glorette Picard is dead, and across the canal, out in the orange groves, theyll gather shovels and pickaxes and soak the dirt until they can lay her coffin down. First, someone needs to find her son Victor, who memorizes SAT words to avoid the guys selling rock, and someone needs to tell her uncle Enrique, who will be the one to hunt down her killer, and someone needs to brush out her perfect crown of hair and paint her cracked toenails. As the residents of this dry-creek town prepare to bury their own, it becomes clear that Glorettes life and death are deeply entangled with the dark history of the city and the untouchable beauty that, finally, killed her.
About the Author
Susan Straights new novel, Between Heaven and Here, is the final book in the Rio Seco trilogy. Take One Candle Light a Room was named one of the best novels of 2010 by The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times and Kirkus, and A Million Nightingales was a 2006 Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Her novel Highwire Moon was a Finalist for the 2001 National Book Award. Her short story "The Golden Gopher" won the 2008 Edgar Award for Best Mystery Story. She has published stories and essays in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Harpers, McSweeneys, The Believer, Salon, Zoetrope, Black Clock, and elsewhere. She is Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at UCRiverside. She was born in Riverside, California, where she lives with her family, whose history is featured on susanstraight.com.
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