This debut is a series of linked stories set in the remote island community off the west coast of Virginia. The period covered is from 1876 to 2143. The stories are unremittingly sad with extreme levels of violence and degradation, but through all the misery shines the bravery and determination of the female characters. The writing style is unadorned which suits the narrative very well. The more descriptive writing is reserved for the scenery.
'Honey, honey, look at me. What happened?' she asks me. 'Where's your mama?' 'In the backyard,' I tell her. She stares at me for a second. 'He doesn't know I saw him do it.'
People are running through my house, barking words at each other, looking at things. Looking at me. Looking at Daddy. He's not moving, all blood, face down. Just like Cabel Bloxom was, after I shot him.