Another Son of Man by Tim McLaurin

North Carolina author McLaurin passed away in 2002, but his literary legacy lives on in this posthumously published novel of journey and redemption.  The three main characters, Junuh, Ruth, and Reese, are on a pilgrimage to an unbelievably remote lake in eastern North Carolina to bury the ashes of a recently-deceased cancer patient that they all had ties with.  What they don’t take into account is the presence of a particularly powerful hurricane and their own interpersonal differences, along with an elusive benefactor who appears from time to time and urges them on to a place he calls paradise.

Another_son_of_man The harsh realities that they encounter force some very real changes on all of them, as each experiences their personal demons.  The ending of this book was a major surprise – it wasn’t a pretty, manufactured "happy" ending in any sense, but still well worth the read.

McLaurin approaches adversity unflinchingly in his writing.  Coming from someone who has been, at various times, a Marine, Peace Corps volunteer, snake-handler, and cancer patient, you can definitely see in his work the flavor of his personal travails.  When something bad occurs, he tells it without hesitation.  And yet, there’s enough sense of hope in his work to keep the reader turning the pages, and his narrative description is wonderful.

I first read Tim McLaurin’s work years ago when a friend of mine urged me to try out Woodrow’s Trumpet.  For fans of his writing, I don’t think Another Son of Man will disappoint. 

(William Hicks, Information Services)

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