The Marrowbone Marble Company
By M. Glenn Taylor
Published by Ecco/Harper Collins
From the author of The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart, a finalist for the 2009 National Book Critics Circle Award, comes this sweeping novel of love and war, power and oppression, faith and deception, over the course of three defining American decades.
1941. Loyal Ledford works the swing shift tending furnace at the Mann Glass factory in Huntington, West Virginia. He courts Rachel, the boss's daughter, a company nurse with spike-straight posture and coal-black hair. But when Pearl Harbor is attacked, Ledford, like so many young men of his time, sets his life on a new course.
Upon his return from service in the war, Ledford starts a family with Rachel, but he chafes under the authority at Mann Glass. He is a lost man, disconnected from the present and haunted by his violent past, until he meets his cousins, the Bonecutter brothers. Their land, mysterious, elemental Marrowbone Cut, calls to Ledford, and it is there, with help from an unlikely bunch, that the Marrowbone Marble Company is slowly forged. Over the next two decades, the factory grounds become a vanguard of the civil rights movement and the war on poverty, a home for those intent on change. Such a home inevitably invites trouble, and Ledford must fight for his family.
Returning to the West Virginia territory of the critically acclaimed The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart, Glenn Taylor recounts the transformative journey of a man and his community. Told in clean and powerful prose in the tradition of Cormac McCarthy and John Irving, The Marrowbone Marble Company takes a harrowing look at the issues of race and class throughout the tumultuous 1950s and '60s. It is a story of struggle and loss, righteousness and redemption, and it can only be found in the hills of Marrowbone.
I just finished this book in the last few days... it's fresh in my mind and I may ramble. I received this book as Advanced Readers Edition. We all know the spiel... I am not being paid, bribed or coerced into giving a good review.
On to the book... my advise... read this book... it is wonderful. First of all I should tell you if I saw this book on a store shelf... more than likely I might not have picked it up.. sorry, the cover didn't really get me... and I would have missed one of the best books ever. I will be looking for more of his books on my next book buying adventure.
What can I say about this book.... again, historical in nature...and I lived and breathed this book for a few days and when not reading it I missed and longed for the time when I would have a moment to read more of Ledford and his family and friends.
The story line is very strong with details and substance. The characters ... I could picture these people... I could feel their pain, their fear, their joys and sorrows. Yes, I cried through some of this book; but, I also shared some laughter and joys, too. 368 pages... nice long book... but; still wanted more ... not that the ending left me hanging or that the story line wasn't tied up... I just wanted more and I wanted to be with them a little while longer.
Just a note... If I read a book that is great, you will know it by the words I write; however, don't let anyone judge a book for you... we all have our likes and dislikes and when I find myself re-reading a book that I didn't enjoy the first time; but, loved the second reading I ask myself what the difference was ... Is it my age?? My life experiences?? My perspective on issues?? I am not sure; but, please never let a bad review hinder you from reading a book that you think you might like; but, won't read because someone gave it a bad review. Just my thought... if someone takes the time to write and pours their heart and soul into a book... give them the chance... so often I surprise myself when I chance upon a book that just lights up my world for a while... this book was that book.
Do I recommend this... YES... read this and let me know if you don't walk away with a new perspective and a new outlook.
Oh, by the way... if you have read this far... you will remember I mentioned the cover of the book... well, it all came together and it all makes perfect sense now... so lesson for today... Never Judge a Book by it's Cover... words to live by.