A Place to Call Home by Deborah Smith

By Deborah Smith

20 years in the past, Claire Maloney used to be the willful, pampered, tomboyish daughter of the town's most beneficial family members, yet that did not cease her from befriending Roan Sullivan, a fierce, motherless boy who lived in a rusted-out trailer amid junked vehicles. not anyone 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, twenty years later, Claire is adrift, and the Maloneys are nonetheless hoping the previous could be buried lower than the wealthy Southern soil. yet Roan Sullivan is set to stroll again into their lives....By turns gentle and horny and heartbreaking and exuberant, a spot to name house is a charming trip among hearts--and a deliciously unique novel from probably the most resourceful and beautiful new voices in Southern fiction.

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The Monday after Easter, by the way, was egg-salad day. We spent the whole Saturday in the kitchen, boiling eggs and dipping them in vinegar-scented pastel baths. Josh and Brady were too old and serious for egg decorating; Hop and Evan hung around but wouldn't admit they wanted to participate, but Mama, Daddy, the old folks, and I decorated up a storm. No Faberge designer for Russian royalty was ever more intense about egg art than we were. We put some of the eggs in a dozen small Easter baskets along with candy and Bible pamphlets.

But Roanie and I had one thing in common: my foibles, too, were no secret. If I got into trouble for talking in class, or traded my lunch money for another kid's forbidden pack of Twinkies, or was caught scribbling knock-knock jokes on the wall of the girls' bathroom, the trespass traveled the family grapevine faster than a monkey on pep pills. I couldn't imagine someone who broadcast his notoriety without benefit of three dozen cousins to transmit for him. That was power. At the same time, I felt sorrier for Roanie Sullivan than I'd ever felt for another human being in my life.

I looked like an unhappy Irish Heidi. My class, all twenty of us, stomped and shuffled through our last number, accompanied by a tune from some Irish dance record I don't remember, which Aunt Gloria played full blast on her portable stereo connected to the Down Mountain Boys' big amplifiers. I looked down and there he was, standing in the crowd at the lip of the stage, a tall, shabby, ten-year-old boy with greasy black hair. Roan Sullivan. Roanie. Even in a small town the levels of society are a steep staircase.

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