Bewilderness by Karen Tucker

.PDF, 205 pages
Expected Publication: June 1st 2021 by Catapult

About the Book:
Irene, a lonely nineteen-year-old in rural North Carolina, works long nights at the local pool hall, serving pitchers and dodging drunks. One evening, her hilarious, magnetic coworker Luce invites her on a joy ride through the mountains to take revenge on a particularly creepy customer. Their adventure not only spells the beginning of a dazzling friendship, it seduces both girls into the mysterious world of pills and the endless hustles needed to fund the next high. Together, Irene and Luce run nickel-tossing scams at the county fair and trick dealers into trading legit pharms for birth-control pills. Everything is wild and wonderful until Luce finds a boyfriend who wants to help her get clean. Soon the two of them decide to move away and start a new, sober life in Florida—leaving Irene behind.

My Review:
Some books you read, other books you experience. This is one you experience. Karen Tucker has a natural feel for setting and characterization. Rather than describing the surroundings to me, she picked me up and put me there. The characters came alive, displaying all the quirks of real people. I felt what it was like to live in poverty, with these people who call rural North Carolina their home.

The dialogue is also masterful. Characters all have unique voices, both in word choices and in the rhythm of their speech. Conversations feel natural, never forced for the purposes of the story. It's hard to believe this is a first novel. I fully enjoyed the author's writing style, read this in one sitting and I'm looking forward to reading more of her work. All. The. Stars.

Thank you NetGalley, Karen Tucker and Catapult for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an impartial review; all opinions are my own.

#Bewilderness #NetGalley


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