by Virginia Reeves - £8.99 Simon & Schuster Ltd (2017)
paperback ISBN 13: 9781471152238 | ISBN 10: 1471152235
LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE FOR FICTION 2016
Placing itself perfectly alongside acclaimed work by Philipp Meyer, Jane Smiley and JM Coetzee, this debut novel charts the story of Roscoe T Martin in rural Alabama in the 1920s.
Roscoe has set his sights on a new type of power spreading at the start of the 20th century: electricity. It becomes his training, his life's work. But when his wife Marie inherits her father's failing farm, Roscoe has to give it up, with great cost to his pride and sense of self, his marriage and his family. Realising that he might lose them all, he uses his skills as an electrician to siphon energy from the state, ushering in a period of bounty and happiness on a farm recently falling to ruin. Even the love of Marie and their son seems back within Roscoe's grasp.
Then everything changes. A young man is electrocuted on their land. Roscoe is arrested for manslaughter and - no longer an electrician or even a farmer - he must now carve out a place in a violent new world.
(Price & availability last checked: May 2017)