My Dad's family grew up in Clarksburg, WV. When I started reading Quiet Dell, which I grabbed from the new book section at the library, I had no idea Clarksburg had such a grisly piece of history. I'd only heard about the Italian Festival and other family stories. The first half is slow. Power through it. The second half moves quickly and tells a twisted story of a serial killer that preyed on unsuspecting widows.
Lee Smith is one of my favorite authors. Her books are always beautifully written. Guests on Earth is her latest and it addresses the last years of Zelda Fitzgerald's life in Highland Mental Institute in Ashville, NC. Zelda is a minor character in the scheme of the story but it's the hook that will interest the average reader. Told from the point of view of Evalina Toussaint, a child piano prodigy who grows up in Highland, it's a glimpse into the world of mental illness.