Pearson’s widely-acclaimed first novel, A Short History of a Small Place, was the story of young Louis Benfield of Neely, N.C. Now, twenty years later, Pearson returns to Neely and picks up the story of 34- year-old Louis. Tired of his listless life at home and his dead-end job, Louis moves to New York city, but things don’t get a whole lot better. He bounces from one odd job to another and makes several desperate stabs at romance that are only doomed to fail. It is only when tragedy strikes his family that Louis is forced to make responsible decisions and, in a way, finally grows up.
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