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Back Roads

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Teenager Harley Altmyer's mother is in prison for murdering his father. What with work, three sisters to care for and a lousy sex life, things surely ... Show synopsis

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Reviews of Back Roads

Overall customer rating: 5.000
SeldomSeen

A Pickup Named Desire

by SeldomSeen on Aug 11, 2008

Back Roads flirts with a host of Appalachian cliché?s. Incest, abuse, molestation, alcoholism and infidelity sounds like a recipe of disaster for a first time novelist. Somehow, though, Ms. O?Dell pulls it off. Fueled by anger and lust, Back Roads reads like a redneck Streetcar Named Desire barreling full bore for a brick wall. The protagonist, Harley Altmyer is a nineteen year old boy who finds himself the head of household of a troubled and destitute family. He is, by turns, funny, tragic, flawed and immensely sympathetic. The author does a deft job of slowly doling out the twists and sordid details and, though she dances a little too close to the cliché?s sometimes, the strength of her straight-ahead prose and eye for detail carries the story. A nice debut.

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