Let me recommend an ideal summer read, the new book by one of my favorite authors, Wiley Cash, a transporting story entitled The Last Ballad.
It’s a beautifully written book full of love and keen insight. Reading it, for me, was a little like hearing Dizzie Gillespie play horn, or watching Robin Williams be funny, or letting a Stevie Ray Vaughn guitar solo wash over me. I don’t know if I’ve ever enjoyed another person’s book as much. It’s based on a true story about a cotton mill strike in1929 in Gastonia, North Carolina. But it’s really about the rich and the poor, black and white, love and friendship and oppression and rage and hope. It's about work and respect and class. But it’s also about nature, in intimate ways. I can’t think of a book that could do more good in our fraught political time than this look at the working poor in all their flaws and glory. A young mother of small kids in a two room shack is the hero of the story. You will love her and root for her. Do yourself an immense favor and go read this wonderful book, which I think richly deserves the National Book Award for fiction.
Click here: The Last Ballad.