Safe in Heaven Dead by Samuel Ligon

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Robert Elgin has checked out of his life, rendered himself irrelevant, and become invisible. After stumbling upon a secret slush fund his political bosses have been skimming off the public, Elgin takes the money and runs ...

Runs from the corruption of machine politics.

Runs from the corrupting of his daughter, molested by a twelve-year-old neighbor.

Runs from his wife's obsession with grief counselors, rape specialists, being saved by Jesus, and putting the twelve-year-old behind bars.

Runs to New York, where he meets Carla, a doctoral student at Columbia, who, enmeshed in her own world of corruption, is also ready to become invisible, ready to run.

They hit the road, forgetting themselves, but back home in Michigan, where everything has fallen apart, Elgin's children must wonder what has become of their father. Of course he can't just leave them there. Of course he can't just run away. But he doesn't know how to go back either. And he has to.

A kinetic, spellbinding debut, Safe in Heaven Dead reveals a world of people struggling to do what's right when everything seems wrong, a world of people resisting surrender to the corruption that surrounds them, and a world, too, which, in the face of apparent hopelessness, somehow breeds hope.


About Samuel Ligon

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Samuel Ligon's stories have appeared in The Quarterly, Story Quarterly, Manoa, Other Voices, and the Cimarron Review. He lives with his wife and two children in Madison, Wisconsin.
Published March 25, 2003 by Harper. 256 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Moving back in time over the course of a year, Ligon reveals the story of Robert Elgin, who leads a quiet suburban life with his wife, Laura, and their children, five-year-old Carrie and two-year-old Tommy, in Oakland County, Mich.

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