2008: #25 – One Mississippi (Mark Childress)

15202297.JPGBook #25 was One Mississippi by Mark Childress. The back of the book reads:

This exuberantly acclaimed novel by the author of the bestselling Crazy in Alabama tells an uproarious and moving story about family, best friends, first love, and surviving the scariest years of your life. You need only one best friend, Daniel Musgrove figures, to make it through high school alive. After his family moves to Mississippi just before his junior year, Daniel finds fellow outsider Tim Cousins. The two become inseparable, sharing a fascination with ridicule, The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour, and Arnita Beecham, the most bewitching girl at Minor High. But soon things go terribly wrong. The friends commit a small crime that grows larger and larger, and threatens to engulf the whole town. Arnita, the first black prom queen in the history of the school, is injured and wakes up a different person. And Daniel, Tim, and their families are swept up in a shocking chain of events.

I thought this was an incredible story. What starts out as a tale of youthful innocence ends up as so, so much more. The results of that first, relatively small lie cannot be imagined even by the reader. Despite the dark undertones and serious subjects tackled by Childress in this portrait of the South in the early 70s, there is a lot of laughter and fun here — the Fullflower Baptist Church musical, what Daniel’s father does after he loses his job, Daniel and Tim’s meeting with Cher, for example. All you can do in the end is trust that Daniel will be okay. It was so much more than I was expecting.

Page count: 400 | Word count: 122,285

2007: Deal Breaker (Harlan Coben)
2006: Witness in Death (J.D. Robb)
2005: Ceremony in Death (J.D. Robb)

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