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  • Writer's pictureThe Bossy Bookworm

Review of One Foot in Eden by Ron Rash

ICYMI: North Carolina author Rash offers a fascinating, Appalachian-set mystery told from various points of view with a Southern gothic feel.

I recently included the wonderful Ron Rash short story collection Nothing Gold Can Stay in my Greedy Reading List Six Short Story Collections to Wow You, and I've been thinking about the Ron Rash books on my to-read list and the work of his that I've already read and loved.

In One Foot in Eden, Will Alexander is a small-town-Appalachia sheriff, and he's certain that Holland Winchester, a local troublemaker, has been murdered. But without a body, evidence, or a suspect, he can't prove anything.

Rash offers an interesting structure here as he unravels what has occurred; he tells the story through various points of view--the sheriff, a young farmer, the farmer's wife, and their son. This makes the book feel like a series of character studies with a mystery underlying it all.

I loved the differing points of view regarding the same chain of events in this rural South Carolina community after World War II. One Foot in Eden is a quiet, haunting story with a Southern gothic feel and understated revelations from each character.

My book club read One Foot in Eden a while back. I found it a fascinating, quick, rich read, and I loved Ron Rash's writing and this story.

Do you have any Bossy thoughts about this book?

North Carolina's Rash (he teaches at Western Carolina University) is also the author of other books set in Appalachia: Serena, The World Made Straight, Burning Bright, Above the Waterfall, The Risen, The Cove, and Nothing Gold Can Stay, among others.


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