Playing with Matches by Carolyn Wall
A Novel

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When I felt truly lost—which was most of the time—I went out to the narrow lot and sat down in the weeds. From there I could observe both houses. After all, I had two eyes, didn’t I? Two nostrils, two arms, two knobby knees. The trouble was, I had only one heart.

Growing up in False River, Mississippi, Clea Shine learned early that a small town is no place for big secrets. Having fled years ago in the wake of a tragedy and now settled with a family of her own, she faces a turning point in her marriage and seeks refuge in the one place she vowed never to return.

Clea’s homecoming is bittersweet. Reunited with Jerusha Lovemore, the kindly neighbor who raised her, Clea gains a sense of love and comfort, but still cannot escape the ghosts of her past: the abandonment by her disreputable mother, her constant search for belonging, the truth behind that fateful night from long ago. Once outspoken and impulsive, Clea now seeks only redemption and peace of mind. And as a hurricane threatens to hit False River, everything she has tried to forget may finally be exposed once and for all.  

A mesmerizing and poignant work by a master of the Soutern novel, Playing with Matches is a stunning tale of guilt, forgiveness, and the enduring bonds of family.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Carolyn Wall

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Carolyn Wall is an editor and lecturer. As an Artist-in-Residence, she has taught creative writing to more than 4,000 children in Oklahoma, where she is at work on her third novel, The Birdcage.
Published July 10, 2012 by Bantam. 353 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Playing with Matches

New York Journal of Books

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But it is a quintessentially Southern novel populated by quintessentially Southern people who somehow manage to make their “sins”—as universal as they are—seem quintessentially Southern, too.

Jul 10 2012 | Read Full Review of Playing with Matches: A Novel

Huntington News

There ought to be a law against the amount of dysfunction Clea Shine experiences in her life -- as described by Carolyn Wall in her second novel, "Playing with Matches" (Bantam Books trade paperback, an imprint of the Random House Publishing Group, 320 pages, $15.00).

Aug 01 2012 | Read Full Review of Playing with Matches: A Novel

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