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Publisher's Summary

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.

Critic Reviews

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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Story

Great writing--not great story!!

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!!!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Eh

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

I did finish it... so it was interesting enough to keep me reading. But I found it to be too predictable.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A Good Listen

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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I couldnt finish it

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
Very depressing
narrator very dead-pan- which probably works well for this story, but I just didn't like the story

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Every Family Has Secrets

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

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.

What did you like best about this story?

The son and how he grew in size and understanding.

Which scene was your favorite?

The end of the story.

If you could rename Bent Road, what would you call it?

Every Family Has Secrets

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Boring Road--not much of a mystery

Would you try another book from Lori Roy and/or Marguerite Gavin?

Not from Lori Roy. Marguerite Gavin seems to be a fine narrator. I cannot believe that this book won an Edgar!

What was most disappointing about Lori Roy’s story?

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.

What does Marguerite Gavin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

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.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

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.

Any additional comments?

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?