Where All Light Tends to Go
By David Joy
G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2015. 260 pgs. Fiction
On the day that should have been his high school graduation, Jacob McNeely finds himself deeper than he's ever been in his family's meth business. Jacob has always known he would never leave his dissatisfying life in his small North Carolina town -- with an addict mother and a meth-lord father the odds have never been in Jacob's favor. But Maggie is a different story. Throughout their lifelong friendship, Jacob has known that Maggie was meant for more. So, when Maggie’s promising future is put in peril and Jacob's father commits an extra heinous crime, Jacob is finally forced to act. He must decide where his loyalties lay and who is worth fighting for.
Where All Light Tends to Go is David Joy’s debut novel, and I am so excited for all that’s to come from this promising author. Joy’s novel fits nicely into the country noir genre I’ve been enjoying lately, and the influence of other Appalachian authors like Ron Rash is felt distinctly. I loved the character development, and Joy’s candid portrayal of a boy wading through life’s biggest questions in such a harsh and gritty environment. I read parts of this book as well as listened to the audio book, and it’s hard to say which experience I liked more. MacLeod Andrews reads the book beautifully, but some of Joy’s deeper passages hold gems that I liked re-reading a few times. However you choose to enjoy this book, do because it’s good. Be prepared for language and violence that matches the weighty themes the author confronts.