William Morrow wrote my favorite book review for Paste Magazine when Tom Franklin released his breakout book, Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter.
The review says authors are navigating oceans in small boats and trying to contend with the tidal waves created by the ocean liners of John Grisham, but after Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, Franklin has a bigger boat.
On his latest release, The Tilted World, he teamed up with his wife/boss Beth Ann Fennelly (a great poet in her own right) to tell a great story of one of America’s greatest—and generally forgotten—disasters, the Mississippi River flood of 1927.
The story follows Dixie Clay Holliver, the strong female lead, as she battles her moonshining business, the flood, a lost baby, the government revenue men and her charming husband.
The book alternates from the perspective of Dixie, the revenuers, Dixie’s husband and other characters as they fight to survive the flood while preserving the things they value most.
Franklin writes villains with very large black hats and heroes that are, at time, aren’t morally correct but often the best option.
I read/listened to the book using Amazon’s wonderful partnership with Audible, Whispersync to Voice. The narration was great—almost as good as the writing.
Mud & Magnolias (the magazine I helped start and now write for) did a great feature of the couple when they published the book last summer.
If you’re a Mississippi aficionado like me, and looking for an easy read set in a beautiful and desolate historical backdrop, The Tilted World is an excellent choice.
As of Jan. 19, The Tilted World are available in combined text and audio versions for a total of $15.