Bent Road

Bent Road

[a Novel]

Book - 2011
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"A remarkably assured debut novel. Rich and evocative, Lori Roy's voice is a welcome addition to American fiction." -Dennis Lehane

For twenty years, Celia Scott has watched her husband, Arthur, hide from the secrets surrounding his sister Eve's death. As a young man, Arthur fled his small Kansas hometown, moved to Detroit, married Celia, and never looked back. But when the 1967 riots frighten him even more than his past, he convinces Celia to pack up their family and return to the road he grew up on, Bent Road, and that same small town where Eve mysteriously died.

While Arthur and their oldest daughter slip easily into rural life, Celia and the two younger children struggle to fit in. Daniel, the only son, is counting on Kansas to make a man of him since Detroit damn sure didn't. Eve-ee, the youngest and small for her age, hopes that in Kansas she will finally grow. Celia grapples with loneliness and the brutality of life and death on a farm.

And then a local girl disappears, catapulting the family headlong into a dead man's curve...

On Bent Road, a battered red truck cruises ominously along the prairie; a lonely little girl dresses in her dead aunt's clothes; a boy hefts his father's rifle in search of a target; a mother realizes she no longer knows how to protect her children. It is a place where people learn: Sometimes killing is the kindest way.

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Publisher: New York : Dutton, c2011
ISBN: 9780525951834
Branch Call Number: ROY
Characteristics: 355 p. ; 24 cm


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Sep 07, 2014

A strange, dark book with sad turns, family secrets, and unanswered questions. So much sadness for one small family.

Dec 14, 2013

All the way through reading Bent Road, I kept thinking, "This is such a weird little book." Certainly, allowing blame to fall on the wrong person and failing to honestly address horrible family secrets have dire consequences. Lori Roy makes that point in spades. What seemed weird was that, with all the dreadful experiences the Scott family suffers after moving to Kansas, they neither completely fall apart nor fully band together. Celia, who seems pretty attuned to her kids in one sense, isn't even aware that her youngest daughter is friendless at school. I grew up rural Kansas in exactly this time period, and this story bore virtually no resemblance to my small-town experience. Maybe I filtered the book, set in 1967, through the mindset of someone living in the 2000s, but it seemed to me that the way the several characters were drawn would also have made them behave differently than they did. The book is dark, dark, dark, and there's no relief from it.

Aug 13, 2012

Something horrible happened when Arthur was only ten, something that marked his family forever. His sister Eve died and Ray Walker is blamed but there is no proof. Now, Arthur and his own family move back to Kansas and slowly truths come out. A very good read.

Jul 19, 2012

I would have liked to get the know the characters more. This was an excellent book and I would have enjoyed a view inside of their minds.

Jul 22, 2011

This is an excellent book which I recommend wholeheartedly.

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