For 20 years, Celia Scott has watched her husband, Arthur, hide from the secrets surrounding his sister Eve’s death. As a young man, Arthur fled his small Kansas hometown, moved to Detroit, married Celia, and never looked back. But when the 1967 riots frighten him even more than his past, he convinces Celia to pack up their family and return to the road he grew up on, Bent Road, and that same small town where Eve mysteriously died.
While Arthur and their oldest daughter slip easily into rural life, Celia and the two younger children struggle to fit in. Daniel, the only son, is counting on Kansas to make a man of him, since Detroit sure didn’t. Evie, the youngest and small for her age, hopes that in Kansas she will finally grow. Celia grapples with loneliness and the brutality of life and death on a farm.
And then a local girl disappears, catapulting the family headlong into a dead man’s curve.
On Bent Road, a battered red truck cruises ominously along the prairie; a lonely little girl dresses in her dead aunt’s clothes; a boy hefts his father’s rifle in search of a target; a mother realizes she no longer knows how to protect her children. It is a place where people learn that sometimes killing is the kindest way.
©2011 Lori Roy (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“Bent Road is a remarkably assured debut novel. Rich and evocative, Lori Roy’s voice is a welcome addition to American fiction.” (Dennis Lehane, New York Times best-selling author of Mystic River and Shutter Island)
This book was a conundrum for me. I read it because it won the Edgar award for the best first novel. Unfortunately, I felt it was more a statement on legalized abortions rather than a true mystery. Fortunately, the writing was descriptive and creative; unfortunately, I did not like---more like actively disliked---all the characters, even the children. This story was a lesson in bigotry, ignorance, meanness, and hatred. Hopefully, this talented author will choose a different storyline, with a few like able characters in her next book----fore, with this talent there needs to be many more future books!!!
I did finish it... so it was interesting enough to keep me reading. But I found it to be too predictable.
Ph.D. Psychologist and Coach
This book crept up on me until I was quite engaged. Much more of a psychological portrait of a midwestern community than a murder mystery. The author did a good job of writing from multiple points of view. The climax goes on and on and on... I'm surprised that this book won an Edgar but I look forward to more novels from Roy.
I guess Kansas gothic is not my thing- Southern Gothic I love, but I couldn't relate to the characters- didn't like the setting
narrator very dead-pan- which probably works well for this story, but I just didn't like the story
Yes for the story which was interesting and moved along. The characters were interesting and grew as the story went on. It does take a ferw minutes to really get in to the story. Don't give up!! But I would say No I would not recommend because of the amount of profanity.
The son and how he grew in size and understanding.
The end of the story.
Every Family Has Secrets
I like mysteries, classics, and good non-fiction. Much of my audible listening takes place when I am working out and sweaty, so I like good plot-driven thrillers.
Not from Lori Roy. Marguerite Gavin seems to be a fine narrator. I cannot believe that this book won an Edgar!
The title, "Bent Road" is a misnomer. It should be straight and tedious road. It's very slow and tedious, plodding and repetitious, and the characters do not stand out in any way.
I liked her voice and she did as well as she could with the narration. In the end, however, if the words are ploddingly tedious, the best narrator cannot make a book come alive.
I was disappointed---even angry---because this book has won an Edgar Award for best first novel. I suppose it looks atmospherically at dysfunctional families in Kansas, but the view is too claustrophobic for the listener.
I have decided to abandon listening after slightly over 2 hours. I don't care about this book or the characters. I listen to books because I like to be gripped and curious and eager to return. When I dread the "listen" it means it's time to toss the book. If the first two hours do not pull me in, why continue with a purgatorial listen?
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