FROM THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF THE SON
An American voice reminiscent of Steinbeck - a debut novel on friendship, loyalty, and love, centering on a murder in a dying Pennsylvania steel town, from the bestselling author of THE SON, now a major TV series.
Isaac is the smartest kid in town, left behind to care for his sick father after his mothercommitssuicide and his sisterLee moves away. Now Isaac wants out too. Not even his best friend, Billy Poe, can stand in his way: broad-shouldered Billy, always ready for a fight, still living in his mother's trailer. Then, on the very day of Isaac's leaving, something happens that changes the friends' fates and tests the loyalties of their friendship and those of their lovers, families, and the town itself.
Evoking John Steinbeck's novels of restless lives during the Great Depression, American Rust is an extraordinarily moving novel about the bleak realities that battle our desire for transcendance, and the power of love and friendship to redeem us.
'A startlingly mature and impressive debut' KATE ATKINSON
'Darkly disturbing and darkly compelling' PATRICIA CORNWELL
'Written with considerable dramatic intensity and pace' Colm Tóibín
'A masterpiece. The best book to come out of America since The Road' CHRIS CLEAVE
In his unrelentingly downbeat debut, Meyer offers up a character-driven near-noir set in Buell, a dying Pennsylvania steel town, where aimless friends Billy Poe and Isaac English are trapped by economic and personal circumstance. Just before their halfhearted escape to California, Isaac accidentally kills a transient who tries to rob Poe. The boys return to the crime scene the next day with plans to cover up the crime, setting the plot in motion. Poe is soon under suspicion, and Isaac, distraught after discovering Poe has been carrying on a relationship with Isaac's sister, Lee, sets off for California alone. Meanwhile, Poe's mother, Grace, mourns her own lost opportunities, broods over her son and pines for her on-again-off-again love, the local sheriff. A fully realized tragic heroine, Grace is the poignant thrust of the novel, embodying enough rural tragedy to nearly atone for the novel's weakness: a sense that some of the plot mechanics are arbitrary. Still, Meyer has a thrilling eye for failed dreams and writes uncommonly tense scenes of violence, and in the character of Grace creates a woeful heroine. Fans of Cormac McCarthy or Dennis Lehane will find in Meyer an author worth watching.