Publisher: She Writes Press
Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Debut Novel
After attending the funeral of her estranged friend Skip in Knoxville, Tennessee, Vrai (short for Vraiment), a forty-something art history librarian with sons of her own, rescues ten-year-old Jonathan, who has been abandoned with no shoes in the funeral home parking lot. The Blizzard of 1993 strands this unlikely duo at the Smoky View Motel, where, motivated in part by the unsolved murders of Jonathan’s parents, they begin to uncover the truth about Skip’s death. With elements of mystery and intrigue, True Stories at the Smoky View is primarily a novel about relationships: the love Vrai feels for her husband and sons, all of whom have left home; her friendship with Skip, which she begins to see in a new light; and her deepening bond with Jonathan. For Vrai and Jonathan, this is a story of mutual rescue―one that results in new lives for them both.
“True Stories at the Smoky View is a riveting literary mystery you won’t soon forget. Jill McCroskey Coupe handles this complex tale of troubled romance, broken families, redeeming friendship, and inexplicable evil with intelligence, grace, and grit. This exhilarating debut novel brims with honesty, charm, heart, and good humor.”
—John Dufresne, author of No Regrets, Coyote
“Intrigue abounds in True Stories at the Smoky View, but this wonderful first novel is above all testament to Eudora Welty’s observation that “all serious daring starts from within.” With an abundance of wit and accuracy of feeling, Jill Coupe beautifully charts both the complexities of loyalty and the internal growth of Vrai Lynde, her central character, and she does so in clear, precise prose.”
—Jane Brox, author of Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light
“This is a thoroughly absorbing book that I found difficult to put down. The personalities Coupe conjured stayed with me long after I finished reading. The writing is beautiful: spare and funny. A most enjoyable read.”
—Maureen Beck, former Director of Library Services, Stevenson University
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About the Author
Jill McCroskey Coupe’s first job was gathering (collating) in her father’s printing plant in Knoxville, Tennessee, in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. A former librarian at Johns Hopkins
Find out more about Jill on her website and connect with her on Facebook.