Monday, March 29, 2010

About All the Living

We’re back!

Hopefully, you had a chance to read the immensely popular Hunger Games, which performed double-duty as the On the Same Page selection and as our Featured Book of the Month for February and March. Now, it’s time for something completely different…

Have you heard about All the Living, the novel by C. E. Morgan? One of the things that makes it special is the author's hometown heritage--she was born in Ohio and lives in Kentucky. Of course, as soon as you begin reading you’ll discover that the local connections are the very least of what makes it special.

The novel, which is set in the farmlands of Kentucky in the 1980s, nonetheless has a timeless feel to it--and, though relatively short at just under 200 pages, is dense with depth and meaning. Central to the story is the relationship between Aloma, a young woman and talented pianist who was orphaned and raised in a mission school, and Orren, a young man still grieving the tragic loss of his family and struggling to maintain the family farm on his own.

Here’s a sampling of the glowing praise the book has received since its debut last year:

“[All the Living] is a first novel, and the writing is simply astonishing. It is the writing of a much older author. Descriptions of the landscape of the rural South remind a reader of Willa Cather. The characters' utter lack of a sense of entitlement calls to mind Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre.”—Susan Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Times

"A first novel so self-assured and unto itself, so unswerving in its purpose, so strummed through with a peculiar, particular, electrifying sound, that I found myself reading in a state of highest perplexity, and also gratitude and awe . . . All the Living is a novel about the hardest things—about grief and lonesomeness, about desiring much and staying true, about loving through and forgiveness..."—Beth Kephart, Chicago Tribune

"Morgan's prose is enchanting from the outset, its descriptions fresh, its cadences biblical. It is also fiercely inventive..."—Joan Frank, San Francisco Chronicle

I hope you’ll join us in reading All the Living.

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