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I loved returning to Loring, Mississippi, after meeting the author, Steve YarbroughI would will read any of his books loved this one When Pete Barrington plucks his family from California and takes them back to his small hometown, it appears his only expectation is to flee the scandal that has prompted the rapid relocation Once settled, Pete evades the icy atmosphere of home life by volunteering to help coach the school football team Through this he encounters Mason, the son of Alan, pillar of the community, good man, but with a giant chip on his shoulder, an a past involving Pete To complicate matters, Mason falls for Pet When Pete Barrington plucks his family from California and takes them back to his small hometown, it appears his only expectation is to flee the scandal that has prompted the rapid relocation Once settled, Pete evades the icy atmosphere of home life by volunteering to help coach the school football team Through this he encounters Mason, the son of Alan, pillar of the community, good man, but with a giant chip on his shoulder, an a past involving Pete To complicate matters, Mason falls for Pete s prickly daughter Toni their friendship develops with realistic and moving precision A tragedy knocks the story into slow burn thriller territory, no less engrossing for knowing who did what The tragedy is all theshocking for its suddenness and unpremeditated nature From here on it s riveting reading Mr Yarbrough skilfully invokes the claustrophobia of small town life nothing remains private for very long, and the past can never be forgotten or even sometimes forgiven TheI think about this book, theI think it s about perfectionism First, the pernicious fiction that one can live a perfect, blameless life And second, the idea that when one commits a culpable, egregious act, one is ruined for good.In this book, a doctor, a lawyer, and a devoutly religiously store manager all face their flawed natures They screw up, and then react as though their lives and those of their families are ruined for good In one of the three cases, that may be true In TheI think about this book, theI think it s about perfectionism First, the pernicious fiction that one can live a perfect, blameless life And second, the idea that when one commits a culpable, egregious act, one is ruined for good.In this book, a doctor, a lawyer, and a devoutly religiously store manager all face their flawed natures They screw up, and then react as though their lives and those of their families are ruined for good In one of the three cases, that may be true In the other two cases, it s in my view an overreaction Life goes on We pick ourselves up We try to do better We learn about the flaws inherent in us, and we try to avoid them Trick them Circumvent them.When I was a kid, I liked to color with crayons in coloring books But I was such a perfectionist that whenever I colored outside the lines I would tear the page out and throw it away In a way, my coming of age, metaphorically speaking, was when I realized you can t live your life like that Life isn t supposed to be perfect The problem is that when you live your life by the perfectionist mindset, and then fail to be perfect, you drag others along with you into your own personal hell.The three characters mentioned above, although they re in their forties, haven t seemed to have learned the lesson stop beating yourself up Move forward Live But as I said, I understand their journey That s why I connected with this book This was a decent novel, nicely written Peter Barrington, a doctor, and his family move from California back to Loring, Mississippi Pete s hometown after he becomes entangled in a minor scandal The small town atmosphere, depicted as less sophisticated andsedentary than the California lifestyle, forms the backdrop for a series of occurrences both major and minor in nature There is a murder but little mystery , a high school football team which Pete helps coach but little excitement This was a decent novel, nicely written Peter Barrington, a doctor, and his family move from California back to Loring, Mississippi Pete s hometown after he becomes entangled in a minor scandal The small town atmosphere, depicted as less sophisticated andsedentary than the California lifestyle, forms the backdrop for a series of occurrences both major and minor in nature There is a murder but little mystery , a high school football team which Pete helps coach but little excitement , a sex scandal but little titillation , a typically sullen teen but little rebellion.The endorsement from the Washington Post says Graceful, precise and packed with surprises I think I missed the surprises All in all, this reads somewhat like Friday Night Lights lite but with the focus on the adults in the community rather than the students Still, it is a rather pleasant read.Grade B ( READ PDF ) ⚇ The End of California ☽ A PEN Faulkner finalist for Prisoners of War, Steve Yarbrough returns to the Mississippi Delta seen through the historical lens of World War II in that novel, and of Jim Crow in his previous, Visible Spirits but now in the blinding light of contemporary lifeLoring is the sort of town children dream of leaving and most adults return to only in the absence of better options But after twenty five years Pete Barrington having escaped to California on a football scholarship and then established himself as a doctor, only to be brought low by scandal has come home Here he finds solace with his closest old friend, opens a new practice, and daily runs into memories he d rather forget, even as his aggravated wife and unsettled daughter contend with this wholly alien societyMeanwhile, Alan DePoyster has come to revel in his family life and his position in the church and community the sort of idyll snatched away from him in childhood and won back only with patience and faith Yet he now feels old grudges against the prodigal Barrington eroding his sense of accomplishment and as their lives inevitably become intertwined, his rage against the forces chiseling away at his values and beliefs soon threatens to destroy everything he cherishes The End of California is a vivid, even shocking, portrait of small town life, where people turn to booze, gossip, and feckless sex in their struggles with provincial claustrophobia, where fates often hang in the balance of personal history, and where the sins of the fathers and mothers are visited most acutely on their sons and daughters This is the most expansive, generous, and moving novel thus far from a confident and elegant prose stylist, as David Guterson has described him, a storyteller who knows how empty spaces can resonate with power and meaning This book was hard to understand Why would a successful doctor uproot his family just because he had an illicit affair with one of his patients This is going to be a short one, folks I read this book over the course of a week, and it honestly should have been a faster read It s only a 300 page book, but the story dragged on and I just couldn t get into it It had a few promising points where I thought the story would pick up, but unfortunately, it didnt pick up enough to keep my interest.Now, the main problem that I had trouble with is keeping the characters straight Basically, the setting is a small town with deep roots, and the mai This is going to be a short one, folks I read this book over the course of a week, and it honestly should have been a faster read It s only a 300 page book, but the story dragged on and I just couldn t get into it It had a few promising points where I thought the story would pick up, but unfortunately, it didnt pick up enough to keep my interest.Now, the main problem that I had trouble with is keeping the characters straight Basically, the setting is a small town with deep roots, and the main characters all have a connection within the town There are two main focus familes, and they are intertwined by a shadowy past Then there are a lot of sideplot characters, and each of their stories delves into the main plot The author changes the point of view from third to first person from chapter to chapter sometimes page to page and with all these characters, it got difficult to follow.There s a lot of deception, cheating, and grudges, but all this drama is so undramatic and confusing It seemed like it had so much potential to make a big impact by the end to the reader, but I was disappointed I should ve left it on the shelf at the library I stayed up all night to read it I picked it up from the to be shelved cart at the library because of the title I m a native Californian it has nothing to do with the Golden State Takes place in a small town in Mississippi the authors photo shows a disheveled, aging surfer type, but boy can he write. Nuanced characters trying hard, often failing Good story, nice writing, believable behavior and good plot. One of the best books I ve read in the last few years Contemporary Southern fiction is my favorite genre and this book is reminiscent of earlier, but modern era, southern writers.