In his second novel, Michael Morris revisits some of the themes that he portrayed so well in A Place Called Wiregrass.

Brandon loves his mother, Sophie, a boozing drug addict who goes through men like other women go through Kleenex. Her abusive boyfriends, including her latest live-in, Darrell, continually victimize Brandon.

"Some battles were never meant for a boy," notes the 8-year-old Brandon, "so I learned long ago to remove myself when I had to."

When his mother dumps him on his grandparents, Brandon finds stability for the first time. It is short-lived, however, as Sophie decides she wants him back. Brandon and his grandparents flee to Florida, where he encounters the Ku Klux Klan and Jesus.

The novel then takes some unlikely turns. Both Brandon and his grandparents eventually land in surprising places.

The book reverberates with some familiar themes from the first novel (such as grandparents raising their grandchildren and flights from the past). Although some of the scenes are less than satisfactory, Morris's rich prose and vivid characterizations will endear this book to many readers.

Related Elsewhere

Slow Way Home is available from and other book retailers.

A sample chapter and author information are available from the publisher.

Michael Morris also has a website.

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