In True Hope Frank Manley eloquently limns the mysteries of the soul with the story of a man named Al, whose life has been defined by marriage, drunkenness, and prison—in that order. When he is released from prison for good behavior, sobered up and in search of salvation, he does a short stint in a halfway house, then heads for the small town in Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains where Tom, his father-in-law, lives. Tom is an odd duck, with pyromaniacal tendencies, but he’s the only thing Al has left of Kate, his beloved wife, whose death haunts him still. Tom and Al are a hapless pair, and they proceed to get themselves in a whole lot of trouble together. All the while, Al is courting Laurie, whose soul is as lost as his. They find solace in each other’s company and make plans for the future. When these plans go disastrously awry, Al experiences a spiritual epiphany that changes his life. True Hope is a story of gut-wrenching brutality and wholehearted compassion, told tenderly, with humor, in powerful, unadorned prose.
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Published April 10, 2002
by Carroll & Graf.
Literature & Fiction.