One Foot in Eden

One Foot in Eden, Ron Rash

Not a murder “mystery” as we soon know who killed Holland Winchester in this beautifully written fiction set place in South Carolina (post Korean War), but murder and the secret that led to it, are the center of the book.

There are five sections of the book, each written from a different character’s point of view – and it’s skillfully done, mining deep into the motivations of the characters, the blend of experiences that has shaped them, and moving the timeline over 18 years.

The book reminded me of No Country for Old Men, maybe because there is a definite sense of place and melody to the language, and maybe because the first point of view begins with the long-suffering Sheriff Alexander.  But instead of a villain in the form of Anton Chigurh, the villain is the past tragedy, the hardness of life in the present, and the change of the future; a future that will be transformed by Carolina Power as it builds a dam and buys the land on which this drama takes place, land that ultimately will be underwater.

Rash has written several books.  This is the first that I’ve read and will certainly be reading some of his other work.