A beguiling, darkly humorous and bittersweet novel based on the real-life 30-year-old unsolved case of the author's stepbrother's murder
Mary Byrd could understand how the journalist couldn't resist the story: a nine-year-old boy sexually molested and killed on Mother's Day, 1966.
A suspect to whom nothing would stick. Neighbourhood secrets. No one, especially the Low Byrd County police, had known what to do.
It had been long before stories of sex and murder and missing children appeared every week in morning papers. Then, it was unheard of ? a front-page story in the Richmond Dispatch, the little School Days portrait of Stevie's crewcut head and thin, goofy smile and brown and orange striped t-shirt against a cheerful, sky-blue background.
And now Mary and her family would have to revisit it all again, and who knew how long it would go on and what would come of it. But she knew there wasn't really a choice. She'd go back to Virginia and do what she had to do: look at pictures, talk to the detective, the police, whoever. But she felt sure that like so many things in life there had been too much time and too much clueless bumbling. 'Closure', would most likely not be part of the story. And what was closure anyway?
As Mary sets out from Mississippi on a collision course with her past, she encounters an ice storm, has a mystical psychedelic experience, and witnesses several deaths and a funeral. With a flamboyant cast of characters (including Mary's husband and children, a prickly maid and her prickly mother, an eccentric artist, a possible lover, a homeless vet and a chicken broker), and with a tragic, true story at its heart, Flying Shoes is a rich and candid novel about family, marriage and memory and becoming who you are meant to be.
About the Author
Lisa Howorth was born in Washinton, DC, where her family has lived for three generations. After doing some wandering, she moved to Oxford, Mississippi, because of her interest in civil rights, blues music and William Faulkner. There she met and married her husband, Richard Howorth. They opened Square Books in 1979 and have three grown-up children, Claire, Beckett and Bebe.
Like all great stories from Mississippi, Flying Shoes never proceeds in a straight line. It twists and turns in order to notice what matters most in life, and then delivers us to exactly where we need to be. Those of us who have waited a long time for this book celebrate its arrival Ann Patchett
Number Of Pages: 336
Published: 1st July 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
Dimensions (cm): 21.6 x 13.5 x 2.2
Weight (kg): 0.38