The School on Heart's Content Road
Since her astonishing debut, "The Beans of Egypt, Maine," best-selling novelist Carolyn Chute has been heralded as a passionate voice of the ... Show synopsis Since her astonishing debut, "The Beans of Egypt, Maine," best-selling novelist Carolyn Chute has been heralded as a passionate voice of the underclass, earning comparisons to Faulkner, Steinbeck, and Flannery O'Connor. Her first novel in ten years returns to Egypt, and is a rousing, politically charged portrait of a group of lives on the margins of our society. "The School on Heart's Content Road" spirals out from the story of Mickey Gammon, a fifteen-year-old dropout who has been evicted from his home and introduced to the secretive world of the Settlement. Run by "The Prophet," the Settlement is a rural cooperative in alternative energy, farm produce, and locally made goods. Falsely demonized by the media as a compound of sin, the Settlement's true nature remains foreign to outsiders. It is there that Mickey meets another deserted child, six-year-old Jane, whose mother is in jail on trumped-up drug charges. "Secret Agent" Jane cunningly prowls the Settlement in her heart-shaped sunglasses, imagining that her plans to bring down the community will reunite her with her mother. As they struggle to adjust to their new, complex surrogate family, Mickey and Jane witness the mounting unrest within the Settlement's ranks, which soon builds to a shocking and devastating crescendo.