Truly original and touching… A remarkable feat.
An intriguing plot matches the well-developed, reflective leads in Kaufman’s remarkable latest novel. Rhome, Texas, 1897. Hundreds of UFO sightings are being reported all around the nation, one among those is spotted in Rhome. With a little time left until the cancer takes over completely, August Simms arrives in the town to investigate the mysterious airship landing and also to spend his final days at the boarding-house where his wife, Christy, died fifteen years earlier. When the past comes haunting, August knows he won’t get another chance to right the wrongs of the past. Kaufman’s characterization is excellent: he is deft when it comes to portraying his protagonists’ inner turmoil, particularly August’s, whose emotional state is fully rendered and deeply affecting. Although the barriers between August and Nadine seem impossible, especially in the wake of August’s connection to Luther’s death, their issues are resolved in a heartening manner: August’s provision in his will changes the trajectory of Nadine and Natalie’s lives. With delicate precision, Kaufman evokes Texas’s rugged wilderness while sensitively revealing his protagonists’ backstories, set against the town’s vicious hatred toward Black people. The tension quickly amps up as the secrets of August’s and Judge Proctor’s past are revealed, and the truth behind Nadine’s father’s murder, the lynching, and Christy’s death fifteen years earlier is genuinely surprising and heartbreaking. Kaufman also carefully crafts a web of complicity around the UFO sightings. A deeply moving story with an intriguing mystery and a touching portrait of regret and redemption at its heart. Spectacular.
A Persistent Echo
Black Rose Writing
Pub date August 24, 2023
Price $25.95 (USD) Hardcover, $20.95 Paperback, $5.99 Kindle