Angela M's Reviews > The Line That Held Us

The Line That Held Us by David    Joy
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Southern noir, grit lit - whatever you want to call it, it’s dark and gruesome, so gruesome, filled with grit, blood and rage. It’s the kind of book you just can’t put down even though it’s at times predictable and gross, because there’s a lot more here - about family, friendship, about how the misery of the past can shape who you are sometimes. It’s the kind of book I can read only occasionally. This one had some particularly gruesome depictions, so it took me longer to read than I thought it would given that it’s not a long book. I have to admit that I skimmed and passed over some passages that left me sick to my stomach.

For Darl Moody, it was an accident waiting to happen as he’s hunting on land that is not his in the almost darkness of evening. The accident does happen when he shoots a man, he thought was a boar. The inevitable when he discovers who the man was - he has to get rid of the body before Dwayne Brewer finds out his brother Sissy was shot. His best friend Calvin Hooper is drawn into the plan to cover up the death by helping Darl bury the body. Dwayne Brewer, one mean sob, full of rage even before he finds out what happened to his brother, is out of his mind. Not unexpectedly, we see his wrath acted out on these two men as well as Angie, the woman that Calvin loves.

This ended up being just too much for me to take at times . It ended up at three stars for me - four stars for the story and two stars for the utterly repulsive parts which felt over the top to me. There are many positives reviews, I suspect by reviewers with stronger stomachs who were able to perhaps focus more on the story than I was.

I received an advanced copy of this book from G.P. Putnam’s Sons through Edelweiss.
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Reading Progress

July 21, 2018 – Shelved
July 21, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
July 23, 2018 – Started Reading
July 23, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
August 7, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-50 of 65 (65 new)


message 1: by Berit☀️✨ (new)

Berit☀️✨ Lovely fair review, I don’t think this is a book for me either! 💛


Angela M Thanks, Berit . I knew it was going to be gritty but there were so many good reviews, I thought I’d give it a try but just too much for me .


Rose (Traveling Sister) Great review! Hunting accident intrigues me, but not if it just descends into family drama. And gore is only tolerable in certain contexts. Hope your next read is better :)


Angela M Thanks , Rose . The story itself was a good one but the gruesome parts diluted it for me .


Diane S ☔ May skip this one, don't do gruesome to well anymore. Thanks for including that in your review.


Meredith I know what you mean about the gruesome parts. I had to take several breaks while reading this and thought I wouldn’t finish. Once I let it all settle, I was ok. Glad you were able to make it through!


♥ Sandi ❣	This one is coming up quickly in my stack of books. I think with Joy you expect gruesome and violence. Good review Angela.


Marialyce Add me to the don't do gruesome too well group. This one will probably be a pass for me.


Angela M Thanks, everyone. Sandi , I was expecting violence and grit but there were some places where this was downright disgusting and I can’t say I expected that.


message 10: by Cheri (last edited Aug 07, 2018 01:49PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Cheri Sorry this one didn't work for you, Angela, I didn't find this one to be overly gruesome, but there was one scene in his previous book I almost stopped at. They don't add anything to the story for me, though, either. Sorry it diluted it for you! Terrific review, though!


message 11: by Angela M (last edited Aug 07, 2018 01:59PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Angela M Cheri , thanks. You definitely have a stronger stomach than I do.
(view spoiler)


message 12: by Felicia (new)

Felicia Jeez now I'm scared 😂


Angela M Felicia , it may very well just be my disposition. Others don’t seemed to have minded as much . But for me - 😳🤢


JanB I have this on my EW shelf. My stomach is pretty strong but we will see! Sorry it affected you so much.


message 15: by Robin (new)

Robin I've got a strong stomach - and it just so happens a friend recently recommended this author to me. Thanks for the great review, Angela!


Angela M Jan and Robin, thanks ! I’ll be interested in your thoughts. Sounds like you both may feel differently than I did . See Cheri’s comment above and her terrific review.


Jennifer Very fair review, Angela. Great job giving it a shot!


Angela M Thanks, Jennifer!


message 19: by Deanna (new) - added it

Deanna excellent review, Angela!!


Angela M Thanks, Deanna.


message 21: by Jaline (new) - added it

Jaline Great review, Angela! It's tough to read books like this unless, as you say, a person is in the right mood and has a strong stomach. This is on my wishlist, but I know I would have to carefully pick my timing to read it.


message 22: by Jen (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jen I don’t repulse easily so hope I enjoy this one a little more than you, Angela! Terrific review :)


Angela M Jaline , I hope you enjoy it more than I did . As I said I liked the story but just felt some things didn’t really add much to the story. Thanks !


Angela M Thanks , Jen! Hope it’s a good one for you.


Brenda - Traveling Sister Great review, Angela! I am a little worried now! lol


Angela M Brenda, thanks. I’m definitely in the minority. There are a good number of 4 & 5 star reviews. I’m kind of a whimp when it comes to some things . Cheri loved it and wasn’t bothered and a number of others didn’t mind it.


message 27: by Dianne (new) - added it

Dianne Terrific review, Angela. Yikes! I’m going to have to give this one some thought......probably a hard pass!


message 28: by Linda (new)

Linda I can always count on you to be candid,Angela! With that in mind, I do not think that this is the book for me. Thanks for your honesty.


message 29: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Metcalf For the reasons you detailed in the opening and closing paragraphs of your review I think I'll have to skip this one. Well done on finishing and thanks for your honest thoughts. Hope you have something more pleasant lined up for your next read.


message 30: by Laysee (new)

Laysee Knowing your reading taste, Angela, I’m not surprised at your reactions to the story you described here. You must have persevered despite your grave discomfort. Appreciate your terrific review but this is not a book for me.


Angela M Dianne, Linda, Sharon and Laysee, thank you all for your comments.
Dianne, if this was one you were planning on reading you should look at the positive reviews. I think Laysee has said it well. This was probably not one for me to begin with . I really liked the story line, though . Check out Cheri’s review.


Karen Great review Angela!


Angela M Thanks, Karen !


Norma * Traveling Sister Wonderful review, Angela! 😊


Angela M Thanks, Norma.


message 36: by Bkwmlee (new) - added it

Bkwmlee Thanks for the wonderful, insightful review, Angela! I also downloaded this one thinking the story would be interesting but now I think I’m going to hold off on reading it and prioritize all the other ARCs I have instead. I applaud you for getting through this one! :-)


Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader Thoughtful review, Angela, as always. I have been on the fence about reading this one...I have read great things about this author, but I’m not sure the excessive violence is for me either. Thanks so much for your thoughts, my friend!


Angela M Bkwmlee, thanks so much . It is an interesting story but too much for me. You may see it differently. So many others really liked it . I need to do the same as you and go through my arcs and prioritize. I do that every once in a while and then I request more !


Angela M Jennifer, thanks very much . I think bottom line is that I’m just not the audience for this . So many people liked it , though. I hope you’ll read those reviews too .


message 40: by Debbie (new) - added it

Debbie I’ll pass on gruesome descriptions. Ew! Wonderful review!


Angela M Thanks, Debbie ! I am a whimp, though !


message 42: by Debbie (new) - added it

Debbie Angela M wrote: "Thanks, Debbie ! I am a whimp, though !"

Now you have me curious. Is there blood and guts?


Angela M Debbie, yes and more . Read Larry’s terrific review.


message 44: by Bianca (new) - added it

Bianca Nice, honest review, Angela. I'll pass.


message 45: by Debbie (new) - added it

Debbie Angela M wrote: "Debbie, yes and more . Read Larry’s terrific review."

Just read Larry’s review. Nope, not for me!


Angela M Thanks , Bianca.

Debbie, just too much !


message 47: by Julie (new) - added it

Julie Honest and fair review, Angela! Hope your next book is much better. 😊


message 48: by Meredith B. (new)

Meredith B.  (readingwithmere) Love the honest review, Angela! Hope the next one is better for ya!


Angela M Thanks , Julie and Meredith!


Cheri Angela, I noticed in his second book the need to add in things like that (only I thought the one thing in the second book that pushed me to the edge was worse), some things I can handle more than others... I completely understand when you can't!


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