A Place to Call Home by Deborah Smith

By Deborah Smith

Two decades in the past, Claire Maloney was once the willful, pampered, tomboyish daughter of the town's most precious kin, yet that did not cease her from befriending Roan Sullivan, a fierce, motherless boy who lived in a rusted-out trailer amid junked automobiles. nobody in Dunderry, Georgia--least of all Claire's family--could comprehend the bond among those mavericks. yet Roan and Claire belonged together...until the darkish afternoon whilst violence and terror overtook them, and Roan disappeared from Claire's existence. Now, 20 years later, Claire is adrift, and the Maloneys are nonetheless hoping the earlier should be buried less than the wealthy Southern soil. yet Roan Sullivan is ready to stroll again into their lives....By turns soft and horny and heartbreaking and exuberant, a spot to name house is a captivating trip among hearts--and a deliciously unique novel from some of the most imaginitive and attractive new voices in Southern fiction.

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But I was convinced that my ancestors thought I wasn't up to the job of being a Maloney. They'd crossed an ocean. They'd carved a thousand-acre farm out of the Estatoe Valley wilderness. They'd named a town and helped build it. They were giants. a sprawling, granite town of dead Maloneys. On Halloweens my brothers and cousins and I huddled among them, telling one another ghost stories that seemed all too real. Uncle Bert jumped out of the shadows one Halloween, wearing his preacher's robe and a Nixon mask.

He hunted among packages of sugar cookies wrapped in cellophane and tied with green ribbons. He leaned toward Carlton and said something to him. but I saw Carlton draw back dramatically, shaking his head. Then he turned and pointed at Roanie. I was struck tapless. I simply couldn't move a foot. I stood there, rooted in place, and was dimly, painfully aware of people laughing at me, of my grandparents hiding their smiles behind their hands, and of Mama's and Daddy's bewildered stares. Daddy, who could not dance either, waved his big hands helpfully, as if I was a scared calf he could shoo into moving again.

The world in general didn't even know that Dunderry, Georgia, existed. I searched for us on the enameled globe in the living room and we weren't there. We were barely findable on the creased, coffee-stained road map of Georgia that Mama and Daddy kept in the glove compartment of our station wagon; Atlanta rated a fat star and Gainesville was marked with a circle. But Dunderry was only a black dot. We lived an inch to the left of Gainesville and an inch and a half above Atlanta. We had peace and quiet, a beautiful little courthouse square with tree-lined streets, and sweet, handsome, old homes, big farms tucked in broad, lush valleys, and cathedral-like mountains around it all, to keep us safe.

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