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Publisher's Summary

In this timeless, mythical tale of unforgiving justice and elusive grace, rural Mississippi townsfolk shoulder the pain of generations as something dangerous lurks in the enigmatic kudzu of the woods.

The town of Red Bluff, Mississippi, has seen better days, though those who've held on have little memory of when that was. Myer, the county's aged, sardonic lawman, still thinks it can prove itself - when confronted by a strange family of drifters, the sheriff believes that the people of Red Bluff can be accepting, rational, even good.

The opposite is true: This is a landscape of fear and ghosts - of regret and violence - transformed by the kudzu vines that have enveloped the hills around it, swallowing homes, cars, rivers, and hiding a terrible secret deeper still.

Colburn, a junkyard sculptor who's returned to Red Bluff, knows this pain all too well, though he, too, is willing to hope for more when he meets and falls in love with Celia, the local bar owner. The Deep South gives these noble, broken, and driven folks the gift of human connection while bestowing upon them the crippling weight of generations. With broken histories and vagabond hearts, the townsfolk wrestle with the evil in the woods - and the wickedness that lurks in each and every one of us.

©2020 Michael Farris Smith (P)2020 Little, Brown & Company

Critic Reviews

"Unsettling, heartbreaking, and frequently astonishing, this Southern gothic never runs out of revelations.... Such is the power of Smith's pitch-black poetic vision that the deeper you get into the book, the more entwined you are by its creeping effects.... A gleaming, dark masterpiece by one of Southern fiction's leading voices." (Kirkus, starred review)

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