Books like this are the reason I love to read.
Character-Driven Fiction that is dark, gritty, realistic, heartbreaking, and utterly compelling, Where All the Light Tends to Go by David Joy, checked every single box. If only all other books were this good.
Jacob McNeely lives a shady life. How could he not, after being raised by his dad who runs a large meth operation in their small town? Though Jacob wants to live his own life and make his own decisions, the truth is, for someone like him there’s no way out. Every step he takes, every decision he makes, puts him on shakier ground.
For Jacob, life is dirty, messy, and hard-fought, and yet he perseveres.
What keeps Jacob going day after day is Maggie, his childhood sweetheart. Doomed from the start, these two have never been able to make it work, yet the love they feel for each other is palpable. Kind, loving, and supportive, Jacob only wants the best for Maggie. It is that, right there that stole a piece of my heart and captured it. What can I say, except that there’s just something about Jacob, a man willing to risk it all for the woman he loves.
My favorite kind of novel, this is character-driven southern literature/grit lit at its messiest, and yet I loved every second. Jacob is a man looking for absolution. The question, of course, is whether or not he can find it.
Have I mentioned how brilliant this novel is? The writing is stunning, the characters are fully fleshed out, and the drama is devastating. This is the third novel that I’ve read and loved by David Joy, who quickly became one of my favorite authors after having read The Line that Held Us.
This book has been sitting on my unread bookshelf for almost 3 years. All I can say is, boy, am I glad that Kaceey and I FINALLY made the time. David Joy, your writing is spectacular. It’s lyrical, poetic, gritty, and full of heart and I eagerly await your next book.
Another amazing buddy read with Ms. Kaceey, which gave us a lot to discuss.
Published on Goodreads, and Twitter.
A beautifully crafted story of a young man growing up with the knowledge that like it or not, his future has been pre-destined.
Jacob McNeely had to drop out of school to help his father run the family business. Not your typical mom and pop enterprise. The McNeely family runs the local meth ring. Jacob desperately wants more for himself and his first love Maggie. But deep down he knows he could never give Maggie the future she deserves. That is, unless….
This was a heart-wrenching coming-of-age story guaranteed to touch you deeply. I’m normally not a fan of YA, but these young characters captured my heart.
This book was resting comfortably on my shelf for years, and I’m so pleased Susanne and I finally set aside time to finally pick this one up, as we both came away questioning why we waited so long to read it.
This is my second read from David Joy. With The Line That Held Us sitting proudly on my favorite shelf. Looking forward to more from this author.
A buddy read with Susanne.