The Marrowbone Marble Company, by Glenn Taylor


Four stars, read March/April 2012.

The Marrowbone Marble Company looks a little boring based on the title and cover, but it was a huge (and enjoyable) surprise to me.

It’s about Loyal Ledford, a young man who works in a glass factory, falls in love with his boss’s daughter, and enlists pretty much the instant he hears about Pearl Harbor on the radio.

It’s about the civil rights movement, about people who fought for what they believed was right even when it put their lives in danger.

It’s about a group of people who choose to live together in a community where they all work and worship and raise their children together, and I have to admit . . . that part sounded divine to me. One of my dreams of the last few years is to be able to move everyone I love, all my family and friends, out to some beautiful piece of land not controlled by governments that don’t act in our best interests, where we can all live near each other and create the kind of community we can’t find in our separate parts of the real world. There’s a glimpse of that in this novel. It’s pretty amazing.

It’s also a gritty story, and there’s some fairly intense violence of war, mob, and other varieties. The plot is intriguing and meaningful, and it’s historical, which I always love. The writing is plain but lyrical, easy to read but still lovely. A beautiful book all around.

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