After a tour in Iraq, Colleen returns to her small hometown in Mississippi and tries to re-adapt to life there. After getting married, she is expecting twins when her father-in-law faces a retrial for a civil rights era murder. Meanwhile, a widower looks to renovate a house that has historic meaning in the town, pitting him against the social elites. Odie Lindsey has written a perfect blend of not only a Southern novel, but an American novel that reflects on a complex past and how it relates to the current day. Gritty, pensive and with great depth and character building, this book will be talked about for a long time.— From Carl
A searing debut novel that follows three generations—fractured by murder, seeking redemption—in fictional Pitchlynn, Mississippi.
An Iraq War veteran turned small-town homemaker, Colleen works hard to keep her deployment behind her—until pregnancy brings her buried trauma to the surface. She hides her mounting anxiety from her husband, Derby, who is in turn preoccupied with the retrial of his father, Hare Hobbs, for a decades-old, civil rights–era murder. Colleen and Derby’s community, including the descendants of the murder victim, still grapple with the fallout; corrections officer Doc and his wife, Jessica, have built their life in the shadow of this violent act.
As a media frenzy builds, questions of Hare’s guilt—and of the townsfolks’ potential complicity in the crime—only magnify the ever-present tensions of class and race, tied always to the land and who can call it their own. At the center of these lingering questions is Wallis House, an antebellum estate that has recently passed to new hands. A brick-and-mortar representation of a town trying to erase its past, Wallis House is both the jewel of a gentrifying 2010s Pitchlynn, and the scene of the 1964 murder itself. When fresh violence erupts on the property grounds, the battle between old Pitchlynn and new, between memorial site and moving on, forces a reckoning and irreparable loss.
Some Go Home twists together personal and collective history, binding north Mississippi to northside Chicago, in a richly textured, explosive depiction of both the American South and our larger cultural legacy.
About the Author
Odie Lindsey is the author of We Come to Our Senses: Stories. He received an NEA Fellowship for combat veterans and is writer-in-residence at Vanderbilt University’s Center for Medicine, Health, and Society. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee.
Lindsey’s incandescent debut novel captures a riveting slice of life from the deep South…In dazzling prose, the author lassos complex subjects with acuity, from the legacy of racism in Mississippi to internecine class wars, the horror of combat, and the joy and terror of becoming a mother. This is a consummate portrait of human fragility and grim determination.
Some Go Home is an extraordinary novel. It is lived-in in its particulars, told in energetic and evocative prose, and has as much insight into the peculiar ways the past informs the present as any book you’re likely to encounter this year. But more than that, Odie Lindsey seems to have a notion about what all that might mean for where we’re headed…in a world as strange as ours in a time as strange as this.
— Kevin Powers, National Book Award finalist and author of The Yellow Birds
Some Go Home reckons with blood ties, buried secrets, and the poisons of possession, reminding us that race and class sit inside each other, in permanent headlock. This is staccato realism; these sentences pop in the mouth like blackberries…To make fiction you need truth, and Lindsey offers it here in crystalline quantity.
— Katy Simpson Smith, author of The Everlasting
Some Go Home has the grit, power, and soul of Janis Joplin and the hardscrabble depth of Johnny Cash. Odie Lindsey brings Pitchlynn and north Mississippi to life better than anybody’s business—you will recognize the landscape, the language, and the people as real…Some Go Home will have a long and happy life in the American mind. This novel is nothing short of thrilling.
— Randall Kenan, author of Let the Dead Bury Their Dead
Some Go Home is both timely and timeless, its prose crackling and sparkling with energy and humor and characters who by the end are as real as the people next door. Terrific, just plain terrific.
— Tom Franklin, New York Times best-selling author of Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter
Every page of Some Go Home blooms with verdant, undeniable, heart-lifting life. A truly welcome addition to the literature of the New American South.
— Margaret Renkl, author of Late Migrations