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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Goodreads Reviewer Sees New Novel Grounded in American South Literature

Title: Remain In Light
Author: Collin Kelley
Web site:
Genre: Mystery/suspense
ASIN: B005Q133EI (ebook out now; print in January 2012)

Reviewed by Marshall Moore originally for
Rating: Four stars

Fast forward two years, after the tumultuous events of Conquering Venus. Collin has done an admirable job here, layering history, mystery and travelogue to create a story that is thoughtful and substantial, immensely readable without being fluff. I can't speak to how well the book works as a stand-alone novel: although Collin intended it to be accessible to readers unfamiliar with Conquering Venus, I've read that book and can't experience this one without that background knowledge. My advice would be just to read them both.

One of the reasons this book works for me is that, despite its Paris setting (with excursions to Berlin, St-Etienne, and Chambery), this is Southern writing. Collin comes from that literary tradition, and readers familiar with the literature of the American South will recognize the use of language; the embrace of flawed, cracked characters; and the strong sense of place in this novel. The cover suggests the grotesque being rendered lovely; that's exactly what Collin is doing here. The novel won't be for everyone: it isn't an easy fit in any genre, it's sexually frank, and it thumbs its nose at a few mores that an increasingly right-wing America holds dear. But then, the best Southern writers don't spoon-feed baby food to their readers.

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1 comment:

Collin Kelley said...

Thanks for posting it Carolyn! I've sent it out to all my social media contacts. :)