Dear Great Book Guru, I was at a Family Holiday Party in Point Lookout last week and one of my cousins mentioned a novel her book club was reading. It sounded interesting but also disturbing; the author was Christopher Yates but she couldn’t remember the title. Any thoughts? Point Lookout Partygoer
Dear Point Lookout Partygoer, GRIST MILL ROAD by Yates is indeed a disturbing book and a great book club selection. The novel opens in 1982 as a twelve year-old boy watches his best friend tie up and shoot a thirteen year old classmate. His description of the girl’s injuries is horrific and his guilt ridden inertia and cool fascination startling. The book quickly shifts to 2008 where we meet the three characters now grown and bizarrely connected. The remainder of this literary mystery shifts back and forth between 1982 and 2008 as each of them tells the story of that devastating moment from a different perspective. We soon realize that things were not as we first thought and there is much shared guilt. We see how the shooting has impacted their lives especially that of the onlooker, and our sympathy shifts from one character to the next as we learn about their early years and the painful adversities that shaped each of them. Highly recommended!