VALERIE FRASER LUESSE
Genre: Southern Fiction / Christian / Coming of Age
Date of Publication: January 2, 2018
Number of Pages: 352
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Isaac believed in luck. But from Pete’s point of view, Isaac’s luck had all run out.
When Pete McLean loses his father in the summer of 1962, his friend Isaac is one of the few people he can lean on. Though their worlds are as different as black and white, friendship knows no color. So when Isaac suddenly goes missing, Pete is determined to find out what happened—no matter what it costs him. His quest will lead him into parts of town that he knows only through rumors and introduce him to a girl who will change his life. What they discover together will change the small Southern town of Glory, Alabama—forever.
With vivid descriptions, palpable atmosphere, and unforgettable characters, debut novelist Valerie Fraser Luesse breathes life into the rural South of the 1960s—a place where ordinary people struggle to find their footing in a social landscape that is shifting beneath their feet.
PRAISE FOR MISSING ISAAC:
“Valerie Fraser Luesse’s beautiful story reveals the human heart that always beats beneath the headlines. In the process, she movingly illuminates not only the spirit of a special region but the soul of every human being who ever dared to care. Missing Isaac will break—and then heal—your heart.”
—J. I. Baker, journalist and author of The Empty Glass
“Welcome debut novelist Valerie Fraser Luesse to the legions of gifted Southern writers before her. Missing Isaac is the first of what we hope will be many more tales from this talented writer.”—Nancy Dorman-Hickson, coauthor of Diplomacy and Diamonds and a former editor for Progressive Farmer and Southern Living magazines
“Valerie Luesse has an ear for dialogue, an eye for detail, and a profound gift for storytelling. She breathes life into these colorful Southern characters and this quirky Alabama town from the first page.”
—Sid Evans, editor-in-chief of Southern Living magazine
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Missing Isaac by Valerie Fraser Luesse can be summed up in one word:
Both the story and the writing are exquisite in their ability to evoke so much emotion and empathy/sympathy for the characters. The title of the book is enigmatic and can be viewed in a couple of ways. Isaac is both missed and missing. Pete is a young boy when his father is killed in a farm accident, and it’s Isaac who offers him comfort and wisdom. Isaac’s disappearance sets Pete adrift and faced with the burning desire to find out the truth of his friend’s disappearance.
Pete’s quest for this truth takes him to the Hollow, where he meets Dovey. As their story begins and beautifully unfolds across the pages, their families start to intertwine and, in some cases, come back together. The mystery of Isaac’s disappearance often seems to take a backseat to the story of Pete and Dovey, but it’s always there, undulating throughout. Why? Because Pete’s grandfather doggedly keeps the mystery alive as he sets his private detective on the case. No spoilers because the journey toward the spectacular revelation should be savored and not rushed or revealed too soon. It’s that very journey that makes this story so striking.
Missing Isaac has many touching moments, but the sweetest for me comes from Pete’s mother, Lila, and Dovey’s father, John. Their children’s budding relationship causes them to circle around their past and tentatively step into their future. Did I tell you this story is exquisite?
The writing is quite lyrical, and the characters are strongly developed. The story often lulls you as you follow Pete and Dovey from childhood, with their first blush of friendship, into adulthood, with their unshakable bond of love. But don’t be fooled. Missing Isaac has plenty of conflict that will leave you angry at the injustice yet cheering for the strong and unbreakable ties within and between families. Families, I might add, that are often both humble in their love for the land and each other and stubborn in their longstanding pride and mistrust of anything outside of their tight-knit circles.
The giveaway for this tour is outstanding, so make sure you enter below for a chance to win some amazing prizes!
Valerie Fraser Luesse is an award-winning writer and a senior travel editor for Southern Living. Specializing in stories about unique pockets of Southern culture, Luesse has published major pieces on the Gulf Coast, the Mississippi Delta, Louisiana’s Acadian Prairie, and the Outer Banks of North Carolina. She lives in Alabama.
GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!
Grand Prize: Print Copy of Missing Isaac, Print Copy of Southern Living Annual Recipes 2017, Handmade Leather Journal (9″x5″)
2ND PRIZE: Copy of Missing Isaac + $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card
3RD PRIZE: Copy of Missing Isaac + $10 Starbucks Gift Card
January 2-January 11, 2018
VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
|1/2/18||Author Interview||Texas Book Lover|
|1/4/18||Top 15 List||Tangled in Text|
|1/5/18||Excerpt||Texan Girl Reads|
|1/6/18||Review||A Page Before Bedtime|
|1/7/18||Guest Post||Books and Broomsticks|
|1/8/18||Review||Reading by Moonlight|
|1/9/18||Scrapbook Page||The Page Unbound|
|1/10/18||Playlist||Story Schmoozing Book Reviews|
|1/11/18||Review||The Clueless Gent|