Category Archives: Riggs, Jack

Jack Riggs. The Fireman’s Wife. New York: Ballantine Books, 2008.

Cassie, a preacher’s daughter, grew up in the N.C. mountains and planned to go to college, but her unplanned pregnancy and subsequent marriage to Peck Johnson put an end to those dreams. Now it is fifteen years later and she still hasn’t found her way. She is having an affair with her husband’s friend, her marriage is crumbling, and she doesn’t quite know what to do with her sullen teenage daughter. As her fire-chief husband fights fires on the South Carolina lowlands, she flees to the mountains. While much of the action in the book takes place in South Carolina, several North Carolina places loom large in the story. Especially important are Cullowhee and Whiteside Mountain, where Cassie grew up and to which she eventually returns. The book’s narration switches between the perspectives of Peck and Cassie over a month-long period in 1970.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2000-2009, 2008, Jackson, Mountains, Riggs, Jack

Jack Riggs. When the Finch Rises. New York: Ballantine, 2003.

The narrator of this novel, twelve-year-old Raybert Williams Jr., lives in Ellenton, a fictional North Carolina mill town in 1968. Raybert’s mother and father, each with deep problems of their own, teeter between responsible parenting and neglect, while Raybert’s best friend Palmer faces an even tougher lot with an abusive stepfather and a potential sexual predator in the family. Raybert and Palmer find comfort in each other’s company, and in their shared fantasies of growing up and escaping Ellenton.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC Library Catalog.

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2000-2009, 2003, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Riggs, Jack