Monday, December 16, 2013
Book Review: The Tilted World by Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly
Authors: Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly
Enjoyment Rating: ***
This book would be rated: PG-13 for violence and language
Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly are a married couple. He's the author of several previous crime novels, including Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, which won an Edgar for best novel a few years ago. She is a poet, and they both teach in the MFA program at the University of Mississippi. Based on the recommendation of a friend, and the whole premise of a novel written by a married couple who both bring unique skills to the project, made me eager to dive in to the story, a crime novel set against the backdrop of the devastating Mississippi floods in the spring of 1927.
The story centers on a bootlegger who lost her only son as a newborn, a prohibition enforcement agent, and a baby found in the middle of a murder scene. The other characters include the bootlegger's slick husband, the agent's partner, and the swirling waters of the Mississippi. And while the writing is gorgeous, and the novel worth reading for that fact alone, and the unlikely romance is compelling, I felt like the crime aspect of the story (the whodunit part) wasn't as big of a factor as I had hoped it would be. As a result, I felt a little bit underwhelmed by the story, while being totally enchanted by how the story was told.