Marlene Brooks's Reviews > Nightwoods

Nightwoods by Charles Frazier
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Mar 23, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: drama
Read in February, 2012

A dark tale of murder set in rural NC in the early 1960's. The main character is a young woman, Luce, who was tramatized as a child by her negligent parents.
After high school she is working alone as a night shift switch board operator when she is raped by a one of her former teachers. She is not able to prove the rape which is very upsetting to her. She retreates to a huge abandoned lodge as its caretaker in the mountains of Appalachia for which she is given a small stipend. She lives off the land and all is content until her sister, Lily, is mudered and her deeply damaged twins, Dolores and Frank are sent to live with her. Luce demonstrates tender patience with the mute twins and they slowly begin to improve. An old "flame" who is always referred to as Stubblefield reenteres her life after he inherits his grandfather's properties including the lodge. He is thoughtfull and kind and gradually wins Luce's trust. Unfortunately, Lily's murderous husband, Bud, is on the prowl. He knows that the twins are eye-witnesses and believes they have his money. When Bud learns the twins are beginning to communicate again he becomes even more determined to get his money back and to eliminate the twins.
Fraizer's poetic and reflective style develops rich and unforgettable characters where violence is over-shadowed by tenderness and human love that can heal even the deepest wound. Fraizier remains one of my favorite authors;
he also wrote: Cold Mountain and Thirteen Moons which were also excellent.
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