TITLE: Nothing More Dangerous
AUTHOR: Allen EskensPUBLISHER: Mulholland Books/Hachette Audio
PUB. YEAR: 2019
RATING: - 5/5
Set in the 1970's Ozark mountains, the story opens with talk of a missing black woman named Lida Poe. She was believed to have stolen money from the company where she had worked and had possibly left town. Jessup, MO, however, is a small town full or prejudice and steeped in racism. The whereabouts of the missing woman plays an important part in the novel.
Boady Sanden is a 15 year old boy living with his strict, widowed mother. After getting caught stealing his mother sends him to a Catholic high school where he is bullied and just doesn't seem to fit in. He spends his free time exploring the woods, reading and talking with Hoke, his retired neighbor. Hoke is a positive influence, providing nurturing lessons on life which leads to a wonderful friendship. When the Elgin's, a black family, moves in across the street, the father hired to run a local company, Boady becomes good friends with son Thomas. Boady begins to see the injustices black people have had to endure.
What a great novel! Honestly I've enjoyed every book this author has written. If you love great character development, a little mystery and great writing, this is the book for you. It was wonderful to see Boady rid himself of the racial prejudices he had grown up with. Yes, this book has some unpleasant topics like: bullying, violence and white supremacy which is hard to read about at times, but, it is an important part of this novel. A haunting coming of age story. Read it!