Sunday, August 16, 2009

C.E. Morgan

All the Living: A Novel

*I should have made this post a month ago, upon the release of C.E. Morgan's beautifully written debut novel, All the Living. The setting is rural Kentucky in the 1980's. The story is about two lovers: Aloma, orphaned as a young child, and Orren, whose entire family has recently died in an accident. Orren takes over his family farm and asks Aloma to come live with him. Although, not at all suited for each otherm the two become one. Aloma quickly becomes unhappy on the farm, which leads her to the local church, and its young preacher.

A few great lines:
"She wondered if all men could sleep this soundly under duress... But she did not know any other men, has not seen the way they slept, and she wondered... how it would feel to have someone else sleep beside her."

"All you care about is being happy. I....I can't have that, that ain't an option."

"Strange that she could want to be here and at the church...yet feel that no matter where she [was] she would be nowhere."

"We all got schooling darlin..."

What the critics have to say:
"Enchanting... Morgan’s prose holds the rhythm of the local dialect beautifully, evoking the land, the farming lifestyle and Aloma’s awakening with stirring clarity."
— Publishers Weekly

"As I read the opening pages of All the Living, I was suddenly no longer in my study but gazing out at the leafy tobacco plants of a small Kentucky farm where a young couple are struggling to make their living, and their lives. In seemingly effortless prose, C. E. Morgan captures both the complexity and the simplicity of Orren’s relentlessly hard work and Aloma’s dangerous drift toward another man. A wonderful debut."
— Margot Livesey, author of The House on Fortune Street