It gently, but quite obviously, gives the pregnant silence we all experience in our daily lives a set of subtitles. For all the unsaid feelings, the unimaginable circumstances, and the ways women have come undone at the seams, this book takes us deep into the American South and attempts to (and succeeds in) reminding us that despite our many differences, we all suffer at the same oppressive hands.
As a community, we've suffered more loss in the last year than we might have ever done in our collective lifetimes and I'm gonna be honest with you all, it's left us a little scarred, hasn't it? A little stripped of our defences and a shell of our most vulnerable selves.
This is not a book where the marriages break or the characters fall out of love, this is a book that walks the very fine line between a mid-life crisis and a crisis of faith. This is a book that can be entirely summarised by this single line, "[it was] ordinary in every way except for the fact that it happened to have one of the world's finest gothic cathedrals in the middle of it".
Conley takes us readers on a riveting journey deep into the depths of the Bible belt of Arkansas, highlighting key points in his sexual awakening and the double lives those living in traditionalist religious households too often lead.