Day 19 – Want to Read:
Today’s challenge was very hard to choose because actually I have way too many books right now that I’d just love to get into. All I would need is a month off work to make a good dent in my TBR pile. So after much thought, I decided on Bedrock Faith by Eric Charles May. Interesting enough this book was published by Akashic Books, like Loving Donovan by Bernice L. McFadden. Akashic Books was founded in 1996. It’s a Brooklyn based independent publisher. Its motto is Reverse-Gentrification of the Literary World. I like the way that sounds.
So here’s the run down on Bedrock Faith:
“After fourteen years in prison, Gerald “Stew Pot” Reeves, age thirty-one, returns home to live with his mom in Parkland, a black middle-class neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side. A frightening delinquent before being sent away (his infamies included butchering a neighbor’s cat, torching another neighbor’s garage, and terrorizing the locals with a scary pit bull named Hitler), his return sends Parkland residents into a religiously infused tailspin, which only increases when Stew Pot announces that he experienced a religious awakening in prison. Most neighbors are skeptical of this claim, with one notable exception: Mrs. Motley, a widowed retiree and the Reeves’s next-door neighbor who loans Stew Pot a Bible, which is seen by Stew Pot and many in the community as a friendly gesture.
With uncompromising fervor (and with a new pit bull named John the Baptist), Stew Pot appoints himself the moral judge of Parkland. He discovers that a woman on his block is a lesbian and outs her to the neighborhood, the first battle in an escalating war of wills with immediate neighbors: after a mild threat from the block club president, Stew Pot reveals a secret that leaves the president’s marriage in ruin; after catching a woman from across the street snooping around his backyard, Stew Pot commits an act of intimidation that leads directly to her death.
Stew Pot’s prison mentor, an African-American albino named Brother Crown, is released from prison not long after and moves in with Stew Pot and his mom. His plan is to go on a revival tour, with Stew Pot as his assistant. One night, as Stew Pot, Mrs. Reeves, and Brother Crown are witnessing around the neighborhood, a teenager from the block attempts to burn down the Reeves home. He botches the job and instead sets fire to Mrs. Motley’s house. She is just barely rescued, but her house is a total loss and she moves in with a nearby family. Neighbors are sure Stew Pot is behind the fire. The retaliations against Stew Pot continue, sending him over an emotional ledge as his life spirals out of control with grave consequences. Through the unforgettable characters of Stew Pot and Mrs. Motley, the novel provides a reflection on God, the living and the dead, and the possibilities of finding love without reservation.” (Bedrock Faith, Goodreads explanation)
I’m really curious about this one because I can already see lots of places the author could go with this story. I hope it’s worth the read and won’t be a let down. All the same the book is beautifully published and has my favorite deckled edges, cool artwork, and French flaps. What do you want to read?