It seems a shame not to award this book the top spot just because I got to it late. Truthfully, it could still take the prize despite the fact that my self-imposed rules say that being published in 2017 adds a little weight to the scale. Be that as it may, if you haven’t read Virginia Reeves’ 2016 novel Work Like Any Other, run, don’t walk to the local library or bookseller.
More than anything else, it is a celebration of the soul of place, which, of course, always earns stars in my book. The narrative about the incarceration of Roscoe Martin in 1920s Alabama, his marriage, racial injustice in the prison system, and, (wait for it), rural electrification(!), moves along, but it’s the characters and the landscape that get into your blood.
That and Reeves’ incredible writing. My interview with her was another of the highlights of my year. Reeves is writing a new novel about Montana that is on my most-anticipated list for 2018.
My review of Work Like Any Other is accessible through the title link above.