The Mayborn family has cast its shadow over the small town of Loomis for generations. Accompanied by rumours of unnatural family unions, the Mayborns have sunk from their position as powerful landowners to become a white trash clan of pariahs. June Mayborn, a fourteen- year- old with a preternatural sense of smell and a dubious code of morals, lights a deadly fire, accidentally killing an aging cult leader. The subsequent funeral draws the beautiful and capricious Iris Utter and her sombre daughter, Lee, back to Loomis where eight years earlier Iris's son mysteriously disappeared. Needing answers to the past, they begin a dangerous and disturbing relationship with the Mayborns. This bold and original novel, spiked with dark humour, explores the boundaries of family ties and consequences of crossing them.
"The shifting viewpoints intensify the mystery, and, in true gothic literary style, reminiscent of Flannery O'Connor, first-novelist Toby-Potter's strong, dark narrative reveals the strangeness even in those who appear most "normal," how wild they all are and how close." * Booklist *
"An intricate tale that manages not to trip itself up, crisply narrated with a minimum of digression and a remarkable understatement that draws you into the action" * Kirkus Reviews *
"Ambitious, dark, atmospheric and sometimes as painful as it is hypnotic-With its gothic atmosphere, sharply drawn characters and flowing, understated prose, this is an impressive debut" * Portsmouth Herald *
"So far beyond and above the Average Novel. The writing is brilliant- You will not have read anything like this before- The smart person's beach read." -- Ellen Moore * Good Books Lately *
"Strange. Dark. But could we put it down? No. Because the writing and the strange gothic story being told are as compelling as a campfire ghost story" -- Ann LaFarge