★ ★ ★ ★ ★
You know those novels that bring you into their world, and when the story is finished, you feel like a piece of you is behind in that world? That is what this novel did to me. I don’t typically give books five stars because it has to be a book that makes an everlasting impact; one that I will be talking about for years to come–this book is one. It is one of those that you begin reading, and you do not leave that world until you are finished in the wee hours of the morning. This book has left me in such a haze while I continue to think about the setting, characters, and story in itself.
Each Vagabond by Name is exquisite, simply put. Margo Orlando Littell has crafted such a stunning debut novel about isolation, loneliness, survival, and coping. There is self-discovery within the story, and finding your way through dark times. It’s a slow pace through the build-up, but it is so beautifully written with emotion, grit, and honesty that you get lost in the world and become a part of the story in your mind. I thought the characters and world-building were complex and constructed in such a brilliant, realistic way. I highly recommend reading it, and I am looking forward to the author’s future work.
For residents of Shelk, a sleepy Pennsylvania town lying along a vein of the Appalachian Mountains, life has always been a series of unchallenged routines and circulating gossip. But when a group of teenage runaways settles in the hills and begins to invade their homes and lives, lines become drawn between those residents seeking to insulate themselves from the outside world and those reaching for more.
Caught in the middle of this clash is Zaccariah Ramsy, a bar owner whose quiet life is threatened by his newfound loyalty to JT, a streetwise runaway who begins to visit his bar, and the re-emergence of the tragic story of his former love, Stella Vale, whose daughter was abducted as an infant fifteen years prior. As tensions between the townspeople and the newcomers rise, Ramsy must decide which side he will choose.
Paperback, 256 pages
Published June 1st 2016 by University of New Orleans Press
I received a copy in exchange for an unbiased review from the publisher. All opinions are my own.