Provinces of Night
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The year is 1952, and E.F. Bloodworth has returned to his home – a forgotten corner of Tennessee – after twenty years of roaming. The wife he walked out on has withered and faded. His three sons are grown and angry. Warren is a womanising alcoholic; Boyd is driven by jealousy to hunt down his wife’s lover; and Brady puts hexes on his enemies from his mother’s porch. Only Fleming, the old man’s grandson, treats him with respect and sees past all the hatred, realising the way it can poison a man’s soul. It is ultimately the love of Raven Lee, a sloe-eyed beauty from another town, that gives Fleming the courage to reject his family’s curse.
In a tale redolent with the crumbling loyalties and age-old strife of the post-war American South made familiar to us by Cormac McCarthy, Gay’s characters inhabit a world driven by blood ties that strangle as they bind. A coming of age novel, a love story, and a portrait of a family torn apart, Provinces of Night introduced a distinctive new voice in American fiction and a superb cast of characters.
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