Hard Twisted
C. Joseph Greaves
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Buy *Hard Twisted* by C. Joseph Greaves online

Hard Twisted
C. Joseph Greaves
Bloomsbury USA
304 pages
October 2013
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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Based on a true story about a 13-year-old girl who is forced to spend a year of her life with a degenerate drifter and ultimate killer, Hard Twisted weaves an intoxicating tale set during the Great Depression. Lucile Garrett is newly into her teens when her path crosses with Clint Palmer, an engaging stranger fresh out of prison who will hold her captive--both emotionally and physically--for an entire year.

Greaves has captured the stark darkness of the Great Depression. He writes in a direct style, creating images and landscapes without resorting to flowery prose:

A windstorm arrived with the night. It swept off the lake, flattening the grasses and flagging the trees and sending camp trash cartwheeling through the clearing. It grounded the birds and silenced the crickets, and it buckshot the grill of Palmer's truck. Inside the cabin it whistled in the chinking and moaned in the stovepipe, and when Lottie ventured outside for the coffeepot, she heard the mad flapping of their tents beyond the guttered firelight.
It is a beautiful paragraph that conveys a sense of hopelessness and, at the same time, a sense of purpose and beauty.

One of Greaves's literary devices is to inset quotes without using quotation marks, and at moments it was difficult to decipher who was talking. He didn't need to do that. He is such a terrific wordsmith that the prose alone is enough to set him apart from other writers. In fact, that device made it a bit difficult to get through this. But the sheer beauty of his writing alone is worth the price of admission.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. Steven Rosen, 2014

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