Where All Light Tends to Go by David Joy

where all lightHope and a future are elusive things to eighteen year old Jacob McNeely.  His father is a meth kingpin in their mountain community, his mother is a meth head, and Jacob is a high school dropout whose fate appears to be following in his father’s line of work.

One does not trifle with Jacob’s father.  He is a hard meticulous man who has built his rural drug empire out of ruthlessness, care, and knowing who should be on the payoff.  He has no patience for screw ups, from Jacob or others, and “strict” is an understatement to describe his treatment of his son.  So there’s definitely hell to pay when Jacob and two other hires of his dad make one really bad mistake.

Jacob’s one glimmer of happiness is his erstwhile girlfriend, who has remained in contact after they broke up and Jacob quit school.  Maggie has high hopes of college and something beyond their town, and Jacob, despite his fatalistic view of his own future, would love to see her attain her dreams.

Where All Light Tends To Go is an unflinching view of a young man’s doom and his need to live life despite his circumstances.  Jacob is as flawed as any teenager, but he has a sense of decency, particularly towards Maggie, and even a strong loyalty to his father, although eventually he is tested beyond that.

This book is for those who like their grit lit unvarnished and plainly put.

(William Hicks, Information Services)

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