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May 2006
Lonesome Road
by Martha Bennett Stiles

From the dust jacket of the 1998 first edition (Gnomon Press):

Lonesome Road is a gripping story about the sudden disappearance of a child. The book explores the effect of family tragedy on a happy marriage. Ruth is married to Kentucky horse vet Grove Brough (rhymes with “rough”). She is thoroughly satisfied with raising their children, contributing to her husband’s successful practice, and paying attention to the broodmares they own.

Distraught over her son Lang’s vanishing but determinedly hopeful, Ruth is increasingly intent on hearing good news from Albert Blount, the black detective assigned to handle the case and enraged by the suggestions from others that he might do less than his best to find a white child. Ruth is also at a loss in the face of Grove’s composure, his growing absorption in his dead brother’s son, and the rumor that he might be paying attention to a younger woman, already adored by their small daughter Joanna.

Lonesome Road is a harrowingly suspenseful story of a family crisis and of Ruth’s struggle down a lonesome road, estranged from the everyday world, trying to make hers whole again. Set in the Bluegrass horse country of Kentucky, it also provides a panoramic portrait of that society and countryside.

Martha Bennett Stiles grew up in the Tidewater region of Virginia. She is the author of ten books for young people. This novel is her first book of adult fiction. Her articles and fiction have appeared in such magazines as Esquire, TriQuarterly, Georgia Review, and The Virginia Quarterly Review. Among her awards are two Hopwoods (University of Michigan) and a fellowship from the Kentucky Arts Council.

“A chilling and compelling story. The reader is caught up from the beginning and follows the steady anguish in the heart of a mother who has lost her child. The narrative races along, like one of those Bluegrass thoroughbreds in the setting of this marvelous novel.”
Bobbie Ann Mason, author of Feather Crowns

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