*Review based on the advanced reader’s e-copy provided by the publisher via Edelweiss.*

The Weight of This World by David Joy.

G. P. Putnam’s Sons, March 7, 2017.

I fell in love with Appalachian literature after reading Serena by Ron Rash.  I’ve read many other of Rash’s works, and in a search of other similar authors, discovered David Joy’s earlier work Where All the Light Tends to Go. I have yet to read that, but when I discovered he had a new title coming out anyways, I decided to give that a read first instead.

This is something about Appalachian literature that just seems so real to me.  The characters are like those I grew up around.  The situations and cultures are similar.  It is dark, gritty, yet beautiful.  I have some family connection to Appalachia though I never visited the area they moved to Indiana from.  As a kid vacations were spent in the Smokies.

The Weight of This World basically tells you that meth and war are helluva drugs.  Thad Broom is an Afghan war vet with the wounds, mostly invisible, to prove it. His friend, Aiden, carry wounds from his childhood.  Thad’s mom April is also wounded, and that wound unknowing affect Thad.  They are all trying to heal their wounds in their own way: drugs, jobs – legal & illegal, – dreams, getting the heck out of Dodge. But life, as life is, always throws curve balls.

I know there are a lot of people out there who ask: Why read about a bunch of hillbillies screwing up their lives?  I answer, because they also make good stories, good viewpoints on life, and maybe a lesson or two for yourselves.