A chilling, timely reminder of the moral and human costs of racial hatred.
What happens when a delusional white supremacist and his army of followers decide to create a racially pure “Little Europe” within a rural Tennessee community? As the town’s residents grapple with their new reality, minor skirmishes escalate and dirty politics, scandals, and a cataclysmic chain of violence follows. In this uncanny reflection of our time, award-winning novelist Charles Dodd White asks whether Americans can save themselves from their worst impulses and considers the consequences when this salvation comes too late.
At the start of this spellbinding tale of violence and political conflict from White (In the House of Wilderness), Gavin Noon, the leader of a white supremacist group, flies a Nazi flag in front of an abandoned asylum the group is renovating in rural Elizabethton, Tenn. One morning, Gerald Pickins, a Vietnam War vet and county commissioner, sees the swastika and proceeds to fire his gun at a car backing out of the asylum's driveway. This is the opening skirmish in a battle between the county's progressives and the neo-Nazis. When a potential scandal leads Kyle, another country commissioner, to resign his seat, a battle for the vacant position ensues. The contest pits Black former football player Frank Farmer, a candidate supported by Gerald, Kyle, and their liberal friends, against Gavin, who's running to gain influence in the community. To steer the election in his favor, Gavin leaks a disparaging story concerning Frank's past. Tensions mount as the campaign intensifies, and events come to a bloody climax on election night. Well-drawn characters are matched by evocative prose. Socially conscious readers will want to check this out.