Bent Road: Book summary and reviews of Bent Road by Lori Roy

Bent Road

A Novel

by Lori Roy

Bent Road by Lori Roy X
Bent Road by Lori Roy
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  • Published in USA  Mar 2011
    368 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

For twenty years, Celia Scott has watched her husband, Arthur, hide from the secrets surrounding his sister Eve's death. As a young man, Arthur fled his small Kansas hometown, moved to Detroit, married Celia, and never looked back. But when the 1967 riots frighten him even more than his past, he convinces Celia to pack up their family and return to the road he grew up on, Bent Road, and that same small town where Eve mysteriously died.

While Arthur and their oldest daughter slip easily into rural life, Celia and the two younger children struggle to fit in. Daniel, the only son, is counting on Kansas to make a man of him since Detroit damn sure didn't. Evie, the youngest and small for her age, hopes that in Kansas she will finally grow. Celia grapples with loneliness and the brutality of life and death on a farm.

And then a local girl disappears, catapulting the family headlong into a dead man's curve...

On Bent Road, a battered red truck cruises ominously along the prairie; a lonely little girl dresses in her dead aunt's clothes; a boy hefts his father's rifle in search of a target; a mother realizes she no longer knows how to protect her children. It is a place where people learn: Sometimes killing is the kindest way.

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Book Awards

  • award image Edgar Awards, 2012

Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. This odd, dark and often creepy tale of a dysfunctional community and a family that fits right in will keep readers wondering right until the last page." - Kirkus Reviews

"Starred Review... Roy's outstanding debut melds strong characters and an engrossing plot with an evocative sense of place." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. Roy's exceptional debut novel is full of tension, complex characters, and deftly Gothic overtones. Readers of Tana French's In the Woods will find this dark and satisfying story a great read. Highly recommended." - Library Journal

"Bent Road is a remarkably assured debut novel. Rich and evocative, Lori Roy's voice is a welcome addition to American fiction." - Dennis Lehane, New York Times bestselling author of Mystic River and Shutter Island

"In her promising debut novel Bent Road, Lori Roy proves that dark secrets hide even in the most wide-open places. Set in the beautifully rendered Kansas plains, Bent Road is a family story with a suspenseful gothic core, one which shows that the past always has a price, whether you're running from it or back toward it. Crisp, evocative prose, full-blooded characters, and a haunting setting make this debut stand out." - Michael Koryta, author of Tonight I Said Goodbye

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Reader Reviews

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DScholl

Bent Road
A very darkly forbidding book, but kept me interested and reading. Family secrets, assumptions, come back to haunt a family moving back home to Kansas from Detroit. From the very beginning one senses there is going to be something violent happening. Well written first novel

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Author Information

Lori Roy

Lori Roy was born and raised in the Midwest, where she worked for years as a tax accountant before turning her focus to daily writing. Her work has appeared in the Chattahoochee Review, and she is the recipient of the Ed Hirschberg Award for Excellence in Florida Writing.

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