Ravens by George Dawes Green is the latest choice of the Early Birds Book Tour Group from the Hachette Book Group
The Boatwright family live in tiny Brunswick, Georgia. Mom Patsy, has a ritual on Wednesday nights - get soused and pray that her lottery tickets are winners. Against all odds, this time they are. The Boatwright family - father Mitch - a devout elder at the Faith Renewal Church, daughter Tara - who wants something more than life in Brunswick and little brother Jase - his mother's favourite. Tara is her grandmother Nell's favourite. Brunswick is struggling financially and so are the Boatwrights. But they won't be now - they've won $318 million dollars. They're trying to keep the win under wraps.
But you know how small towns are. When two low level grifters - Shaw and Romeo stop in to the local convenience store on their way through to Florida, they get wind of the win and who the lucky family is. Shaw decides that their ship has come in and that they will share the Boatwright's good fortune.
"Could he really do this? He had to He had to live He couldn't not-live any longer. He knew that if there were any resistance, it would have to be crushed mercilessly. If they challenged him, he'd have to kill their loved ones while they watched. An how would he withstand their looks of horror By tapping into a vein of steadfastness and wisdom. By knowing what he needed. What he needed was beauty. A life of pure beauty , nothing less. He'd pay any price for it.
Shaw visits the Boatwright family and promises that his friend Romeo will kill their family and friends if they don't go along with his plan. He only wants half of their good fortune.
When the money is received and Shaw promises publicly to give it all away, the public inexplicably falls in love with him, almost hypnotized. He begins to refer to the public as his flock. The entire situation becomes surreal. And still Romeo is out there, circling the town. As Shaw says " Always the light is guarded by darkness."
Ravens went in a completely different direction than I had first though it would. Initially I thought it would be tension filled hostage situation with the family plotting to escape etc. Instead, it's more relationship and character driven. Shaw's glib and golden tongue produces amazing, seemingly reasonable explanations for everything. He is revelling in his new found status. Romeo on the other hand is such a tragic figure. He is alone, 'on patrol' the entire time Shaw is posturing. Romeo has good in him and isn't really cut out for this caper. He craves human contact and ends up with odd relationships with the denizens of the town.
I was so sucked into this story - I kept turning page after page. Would the family rebel, would Shaw get away with it, what would Romeo do, out there in the dark.
Green has created an unexpected, engrossing tale that I thoroughly enjoyed.
And I still haven't quite figured out how to get a video on a post, so instead here's a link to the YouTube trailer for Ravens.
Visit the other sites on the tour today as well.