Fielding Bliss has never forgotten the summer of 1984: the year a heat wave scorched Breathed, Ohio. The year he became friends with the devil.
Sal seems to appear out of nowhere – a bruised and tattered thirteen-year-old boy claiming to be the devil himself answering an invitation. Fielding Bliss, the son of a local prosecutor, brings him home where he’s welcomed into the Bliss family, assuming he’s a runaway from a nearby farm town.
When word spreads that the devil has come to Breathed, not everyone is happy to welcome this self-proclaimed fallen angel. Murmurs follow him and tensions rise, along with the temperatures as an unbearable heat wave rolls into town right along with him. As strange accidents start to occur, riled by the feverish heat, some in the town start to believe that Sal is exactly who he claims to be. While the Bliss family wrestles with their own personal demons, a fanatic drives the town to the brink of a catastrophe that will change this sleepy Ohio backwater forever.
I do not even know where to start. This is a very profound read. To be honest, I almost quit reading it in the beginning. I was a little confused…the devil, a little boy, what??? But, the prose kept me reading. Then, I was vested in the characters and the amazement began.
This story is a multilevel tale about family dynamics, loss, revelations and regret. Sal shows up out of the blue. He says it is due to an invitation for the devil. Sal is the devil or he claims to be. His arrival sends the town of Breathed, Ohio into a downward spiral.
This novel is full of symbolism. I usually never look for symbolism but this one hits you upside the head with a brick. I see real genius in this writing. However, the story did not flow as well as I wanted it to. There were places I was a little confused. The prose kept me reading. Sal, Grand and Fielding are amazing characters and the tale just keeps unwinding to a dark tragedy not soon forgotten.
I believe this author has a true talent. I look forward to her next work!!
I received this novel form Netgalley for a honest review.