The Lost Saints of Tennessee by Amy Franklin-Willis
A Novel

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Synopsis

With enormous heart and dazzling agility, Amy Franklin-Willis expertly mines the fault lines in one Southern working-class family. Driven by the soulful voices of forty-two-year-old Ezekiel Cooper and his mother, Lillian, The Lost Saints of Tennessee journeys from the 1940s to 1980s as it follows Zeke’s evolution from anointed son, to honorable sibling, to unhinged middle-aged man.

After Zeke loses his twin brother in a mysterious drowning and his wife to divorce, only ghosts remain in his hometown of Clayton, Tennessee. Zeke makes the decision to leave town in a final attempt to escape his pain, throwing his two treasured possessions—a copy of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and his dead brother’s ancient dog—into his truck, and heads east. He leaves behind two young daughters and his estranged mother, who reveals her own conflicting view of the Cooper family story in a vulnerable but spirited voice stricken by guilt over old sins and clinging to the hope that her family isn’t beyond repair.

When Zeke finds refuge with cousins in Virginia horse country, divine acts in the form of severe weather, illness, and a new romance collide, leading Zeke to a crossroads where he must decide the fate of his family.
 

About Amy Franklin-Willis

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An eighth-generation Southerner, Amy Franklin-Willis was born in Birmingham, Alabama. She received an Emerging Writer Grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation in 2007 to complete The Lost Saints of Tennessee, a novel inspired by stories of her father's childhood.
 
Published February 7, 2012 by Atlantic Monthly Press. 352 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Lost Saints of Tennessee

Kirkus Reviews

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He blames Lillian for Carter’s brief, unhappy life but blames himself for Carter’s accidental death.

Feb 01 2012 | Read Full Review of The Lost Saints of Tennessee:...

Publishers Weekly

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In 1985, a decade after losing his twin brother, Carter, in a drowning accident, Zeke Cooper leaves his hometown of Clayton, Tenn.

Oct 31 2011 | Read Full Review of The Lost Saints of Tennessee:...

San Francisco Chronicle

"The Lost Saints of Tennessee," a debut novel by San Francisco writer Amy Franklin-Willis, tells of fraternal twins Ezekiel (Zeke) and Carter Cooper, who've grown up in fictional Clayton, Tenn.

Feb 12 2012 | Read Full Review of The Lost Saints of Tennessee:...

City Book Review

the first and most prominent is Zeke (Ezekiel) Cooper, while the middle section is devoted to his somewhat entitled-seeming mother, Lillian.

May 24 2012 | Read Full Review of The Lost Saints of Tennessee:...

Historical Novel Society

In the changing South of a generation ago, Ezekiel Cooper struggles to find a true path through the dense jungle of his family’s feuds and secrets.

| Read Full Review of The Lost Saints of Tennessee:...

Bookmarks Magazine

He leaves behind two young daughters and his estranged mother, who reveals her own conflicting view of the Cooper family story in a vulnerable but spirited voice stricken by guilt over old sins and clinging to the hope that her family isn’t beyond repair.

When Zeke finds refuge with cousin...

Feb 20 2012 | Read Full Review of The Lost Saints of Tennessee:...

Reader Rating for The Lost Saints of Tennessee
80%

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