Synopses & Reviews
Written with a storyteller's grace and a poet's touch, A Still Small Voice is the magnificent work of a gifted young novelist. Taking its place beside the great novels of the Civil War, John Reed's sweeping saga is at once a passionate love story and a powerful human drama set against a vivid backdrop of a nation at war.
The year is 1859. As this breathtaking novel opens, seven-year-old Alma Flynt arrives in the small Kentucky town of Cotterpin Creek to begin a new life in her aunt's home. There, a whole new world opens up before her eyes-a world of impossible grace and comfort, of lush pastures and billowing bluegrass. And there, Alma will meet a family who will shape the course of her life.
The Clevelands, with their sprawling mansion and gleaming thoroughbred horses, are magnificent. But from the beginning, one Cleveland draws all her attention-the youngest son, John Warren. Of their childhood bond, Alma later recalls: "The stubborn fact was, without the slightest hint of imagination, that it was clear to him, and to me, and to everyone, that we were meant to be together."
But like a swift storm cloud, the Civil War descends on Cotterpin Creek, taking men from the land and husbands from wives, never to return. Swept into the chaos are the Clevelands, and John Warren himself, leaving their fading mansion and sprawling horse farm behind. Against this turbulent backdrop, Alma will come of age. And when the fighting is over, the story of a brave young man riding off to battle becomes a haunting journey of vengeance, loss, and redemption. But for Alma, yet another journey begins on the day a strange, battered, starved, and tormented young soldier staggers back into her life.
Grand in scope, filled with small miracles of language, A Still Small Voice is a stirring adventure of the heart, a historical saga of extraordinary power and depth. Haunting, heartbreaking, and unforgettable, this is storytelling at its very best.
About the Author
John Reed attended Hampshire College and received an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University. His poetry and short stories have appeared in numerous literary magazines, and he was a contributing editor for Open City. He lives in New York City. A Still Small Voice is his first novel.