One of the hundred books a year I read:

One of the hundred books a year I read:


The Risen

Ron Rash

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In the summer of 1969 in the small town of Sylva NC, sixteen year-old Eugene and his twenty-one year old brother Bill go fishing on Sunday afternoons, the only break they have from working at their grandfather’s medical practice. They meet a mysterious and free-spirited girl, Ligeia, from Daytona Beach, exiled to their small-town because of her misdeeds.

Forty-six years later, her body is discovered in the banks of that river. Eugene, a barely functioning alcoholic, still lives in the same house willed to him by his grandfather. He struggles to remember the details of that long-ago summer. His first drinks. Stealing drugs from his grandfather at Ligeia’s urging. His growing involvement with her.

He confronts Bill, a successful neurosurgeon in Asheville, with the lie he had believed so long—that Bill had put her on a bus to Daytona on the last day they had seen her. But if she was found at the river, then she had never left. If Bill lied about her leaving, what else had he lied about? What really happened that summer?

The events force Eugene back to those years. An overbearing grandfather who dictated everything they, and everyone else in town, did. Why Eugene’s mother had allowed the grandfather so much sway. What Eugene’s relationship with Ligeia really was. What role Bill played in everything that happened. Most importantly, who murdered and buried Ligeia?

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