The Sweet In-Between
Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
Publication Date: 10/2/2012
"The newest and most exciting voice to emerge in contemporary Southern fiction."
- San Francisco Bay Guardian
"Poignant . . . [Reynolds invests] the brief but powerful drama with pathos, poetry, and, unexpectedly, hope."
"Tender . . .[a] sweet coming-of-age story, thanks to its young, wise-beyond-her-years, Scout Finch-esque heroine."
- Entertainment Weekly
"Reynolds moves so smoothly back and forth between the past and the present that her novel feels like a keg of dynamite sitting on a slow-burning fuse . . . as riveting as a fact-paced thriller."
- Richmond Times-Dispatch
"[Reynolds] is a gifted writer with a deceptively simple style and a keen ear for dialogue."
- Boston Globe
Bestseller Reynolds (The Rapture of Canaan) delivers again with this story of an embattled teenage girl growing up in a Virginia tidewater town. Kendra "Kenny" Lugo has it tough: her mother is dead, her father is in jail, and she is what others might call gender-confused ("the year before I cut off all my hair and started binding myself up").
Living with her father's girlfriend, Aunt Glo, Kenny is approaching 18 and facing the possibility of being kicked out with a sense of impending doom.
When their neighbor, habitually drunk Jarvis Stanley, accidentally kills a college girl, Kenny becomes fixated on the tragedy.
Meanwhile, Aunt Glo struggles with painkiller addiction while raising her own kids, 12-year-old Quincy and teenaged Tim-Tim, and her runaway daughter's seven-year-old, Daphne. Kenny makes a fascinating, cagey narrator, revealing an unexpectedly dangerous family dynamic with a matter-of-factness that belies her fear and anger, and Reynolds weds expository memories with Kenny's day-to-day so seamlessly, it looks easy.
Simple prose rich with subtext, convincing dialogue and a fascinating protagonist combine to produce a heartstring-plucker that's explicit, tender, sad and hopeful.
- Fiction Reviews, Publishers Weekly, 8/25/2008