The Illusion of Leaving

Front Cover
Texas Review Press, 2020 - Fiction - 229 pages
"Jamie Wright hates her West Texas hometown of Silver Falls, its small-minded people, the reminder of her childhood there and her failed first marriage-the source of her daddy's eternal disappointment. The size of his ranch and the influence of his pocketbook continue to make her a target for resentment. Now Big Jim is on his deathbed. Jamie's in town to plan his funeral, sell the ranch, and never look back. The funeral goes as planned, although her daddy might be galled that one of the pallbearers is Mexican. However, the reading of the will does not go as planned. The night after the funeral, Jamie and two former classmates-Wanda and Gina-go for a nostalgic ride out to the town's lovers' lane to watch the dancing lights and reminisce about high school. When a tornado system blows in, they drive to a nearby storm shelter. There, fueled by vodka, the secrets erupt. The tornado razes part of Silver Falls as well as the ranch. Jamie realizes that she is not immune to the pull of the land, the way its vast barrenness manages to sustain flora and fauna. Jamie's discovery of her father's manipulation and deceit allows her to throw off her lifelong guilt at disappointing him. She sees herself as an adult, and sees the land and the ranch as a vital part of who she is. In the process of helping clean up the tornado damage to Silver Falls, Jamie finally becomes part of the community"--

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About the author (2020)

Born in Shawnee, Oklahoma, JEANNETTE BROWN was raised in Texas. Her work has appeared in Bellevue Literary Review, Southwestern American Literature, and New Millennium Writings, among others. She is the co-editor of Literary Lunch, a food anthology. She has received residencies from the Sewanee Writer's Conference, Rivendell Writers' Colony, and Hedgebrook/India.

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