Year 13, Book 93

93. Ohio by Stephen Markley

New Canaan, Ohio is a rust belt town whose best days are behind it. It is ravaged by drug use and losses to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now on one fateful night in 2013 four high school friends’ paths converge for the first time in 10 years. The story is told in four parts each from one of the characters perspectives in which you get their story both past and present and the threads of their lives and how they intersect on this night uncovering some long held secrets.

I loved this book. The writing and setting reminded me a lot of Richard Russo, who is one of my favorite authors. I loved how descriptive the author was in the way he wrote about things. He created such a rich sense of place and well-developed characters. Most of the people in my book club thought he was too descriptive so your mileage may vary, but I adored it.

There were a lot of secondary and tertiary characters to keep track of as well as the various relationships they all had with each other both in the present and in high school. I had a hard time keeping track sometimes and really wish there had been some sort of chart to which I could refer to try and keep things straight. That’s only a minor quibble though. I thought this book was fantastic. I give it a 9 out of 10.

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