Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Dirty Little Angels by Chris Tusa

By Chris Tusa (Alabama: Livingston Press)
ISBN-10: 1604890304
ISBN-13: 978-1604890303
[pbk and e-book]

With confident, mature writing, Tusa blends easily into the literary landscape of American fiction of the Deep South. Hailey Trosclair, the narrator and protagonist is a wonderfully rounded creation. Flawed and restless she stalks the novel in search of love and compassion, looking for a sense of belonging. Let down by society and the adults around her she seeks spiritual answers. But the warped view of religion handed out by those around her means she asks the wrong questions and fails to see the answers she is given. At times shocking, the novel lays bare the black heart of religious and social hypocrisy.

It is a gritty, unrelenting story, peopled with deranged, desperate characters and littered with disturbing images of attempted suicide, sex and violence. Steeped in Carson McCullers’ school of Southern fiction this is a heartbreaking novel that slowly spirals towards its inevitable dark conclusion. Although flawed in places, Dirty Little Angels is an assured, intelligent debut novel.
see also comments on The Editor's Notebook blog at

No comments: