The Line that Held Us

The Line that Held Us

by David Joy

Overview:When Darl Moody went hunting after a monster buck he's chased for years, he never expected he'd accidentally shoot a man digging ginseng. Worse yet, he's killed a Brewer, a family notorious for vengeance and violence. With nowhere to turn, Darl calls on the help of the only man he knows will answer, his best friend, Calvin Hooper. But when Dwayne Brewer comes looking for his missing brother and stumbles onto a blood trail leading straight back to Darl and Calvin, a nightmare of revenge rips apart their world. The Line That Held Us is a story of friendship and family, a tale balanced between destruction and redemption, where the only hope is to hold on tight, clenching to those you love. What will you do for the people who mean the most, and what will you grasp to when all that you have is gone? The only certainty in a place so shredded is that no one will get away unscathed.

Deanna Boe (04/29/19): This is an Appalachian story that involves an accidental murder, the cover-up, and the horrible results that come from it. David Joy is an excellent writer that has written a different twist to the usual Appalachian story-line. We do not have illegal whiskey being produced, the usual family feuds, or anything else we often associate with writings about the people found in the Appalachian areas. Saying that, we do have an accidental murder, the cover-up of the murder, and the endless sad results of this cover-up; showing that nothing good can come from not being honest from the very beginning.

Right from the start of the novel we have a man doing something illegal. Darl is hunting a specific deer out of hunting season. Not only that, he is doing it on private property where deer should never be hunted in the first place. A fantastic buck has been observed on this property for several years and Darl is determined to get it. When the owner of the property has to be gone for family business for a week, Darl decides to take advantage of it. He believes he is justified in doing this since his family is poor and needs the meat from the deer to help them survive. Amazingly enough, Darl isnít the only one who is aware the owner of this property is gone. Another man takes advantage of this absence to look for ginseng which can be sold for lots of money. It just so happens he belongs to a family that is known for violence and vengeance by the name of Brewer.

The stage is set. Darl accidentally kills Carol Brewer while they are poaching on this land. Darl doesnít know what to do. He feels terrible about it, but there is no way he is going to go to the police and confess. He knows if he did that Carolís brother, Dwayne, would come after him, even if it had been an accident. Now what? He goes to his best friend, Calvin Hooper, and drags him into this mess. It is from this moment on that the storyline is set and all the problems that are a result of this accidental killing and not being honest from the start, spin out of control. I am not too sure about the ending.
Rating: ***+

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