Lindsay and I read The Line That Held Us with six of our Traveling Sisters and this was one that left us all breathless after reading it. It made for a great discussion.
David Joy holds nothing back here and pulls no stops with this stunning and violent story that explores sacrifice and suffering. We were immediately drawn into a world where our characters live by a code and where family roots run deep and the lines that hold them are clear. The story is fiercely intense with descriptive violence that at times forced me to put up some filters to not absorb some of the violence. David Joy does have a way with his writing and it beautifully flows easily without any shock value.
David Joy does such a great job here creating a haunting fascinating yet terrifying character here with Dwayne who is driven by rage and savage revenge. He is like no other character I have met before. He is compelling, unpredictable and unforgetting. I sat on the edge of my seat as the tension grew and I became scared about what he would do next. His character is so well done I could vividly see how his mind started to deteriorate, at times allowing me to feel empathy for his situation. That alone is brilliant writing to me.
The Line That Held Us is one I recommend with caution due to the violence and isn’t one for everyone. It needs some filtering or looking past the violence and into the words that are written around the violence.
I can’t shake the spine-tingling, stomach-churning, revenge-seeking, heart-pounding tension that filled every page of this intense, gritty, gun-slinging backroads tale.
This dark, unflinching and violent story follows Darl Moody and Calvin Hooper, two men who have been friends since childhood. Darl and Calvin find themselves caught in the deceit of covering up an accidental murder. They are faced with unexpected and unending repercussions and revenge.
This is not an easy read by any means. It is dark, brutally violent and descriptively disturbing. This would be hard on those readers with a weak stomach. It had me queasy and cringing several times. I found myself holding my breath and squinting my eyes while reading at several points in tension-filled anticipation of what brutal scene lay ahead on the next page. With that being said, the writing is so strong and compelling that I couldn’t look away – I just had to keep reading. This story gripped me from start to finish, my heart pounding in anticipation of where this haunting story would lead.
Thank you to Edelweiss, G. P. Putnam’s Sons and David Joy from both of us for an ARC to read and review.
From Debra’s review
An accidental shooting in the woods and the deadly aftermath could be a very sad yet simple tale – but not in the hands of David Joy. In the pages of “The Line that held us”, Joy has created a beautifully written gritty novel set in Appalachia. This book is violent, heart breaking and gut wrenching. The characters in this book are struggling – struggling with the consequences of their actions, struggling with poverty, struggling with loss, struggling with grief, struggling with keeping secrets, struggling with doing the right thing and struggling to survive. Love, loyalty, friendship, rage, loss, despair, and revenge are all combined and laid bare.
From Jan’s review
The characters are complex and for such a gritty book it’s very philosophical, which saves it from being just a simple tale of vengeance. These are not characters I will soon forget. Be aware it’s not for the faint of heart. There were parts where I cringed, parts where I teared up, and the ending is so tense I couldn’t flip the pages fast enough.
The setting is Appalachia where people do what they do in order to survive. It’s a harsh life and the people are tough. Family and friendship ties are very strong. What happens when something happens to a loved one that forces us to make a choice? What are the consequences?
Have you read this one? Want to read this one? Drop us a comment! We would love to hear from you!