Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Coal Run

Coal Run by Tawni O'Dell was published in 2004, but I just got around to reading it. It was her second novel.  I had thoroughly enjoyed her Back Roads, so I was glad to have come across another of her books while at the library.  The book was a quick read and a good story.

Coal Run is the name of a town that used to be an active mining community in Pennsylvania, until a mining explosion killed 96 men, and lives were changed forever. Ivan's father was one of the men killed in the explosion.  At the time of the explosion, Ivan was in kindergarten, so he grew up not really knowing his father.  He was a star high school football player who went on to play for Joe Paterno at Penn State, then was drafted by the Chicago Bears, until a knee injury ended his professional career before it even started.  After the injury, Ivan left Pennsylvania and stayed away for years.

One day Ivan received a newspaper clipping about an old childhood friend's upcoming release from prison.  Reese Raynor has been in prison for beating his wife. Ivan decides to return to Coal Run and becomes a local deputy there, while he waits for Reese's release.

The book is broken into less than a week...Sunday through Friday.  As the week progresses, Ivan is faced with the secrets and regrets that he has been carrying with him for years.

As I said, it's a good story...and, as the inside cover describes, it is

"A story about letting go of the goals of greatness for the ordinary grace of good work, family love, and an acceptance of where you come from..."

Ms. O'Dell's writing is very easy to read and leaves you feeling like you know the characters well.  Good book!

No comments: