On the day Claude slaps down a credit card for an expensive racing bicycle, his soon-to-be-ex-wife passes away. As Claude begins a quest to pedal away from his marriage and his grief, we encounter the Southern eccentrics that orbit his world: his overly independent, rebellious teenage daughter; his foul-mouthed sister-in-law who deftly stalks her husband's mistress; twin, gay bookstore owners who serve the profitable underground Confederacy market out of their "special" back room; the math professor possessing an attic full of rats and a penchant for revenge; a skinny bartender-named for a Marine base-who preaches a suck-it-up philosophy; and Claude's recently deceased wife, observing it all from the Great Beyond, where she is annoyed by the lack of decent weather and by the troubled, tangled lives she left behind.
This ensemble of quirky, narrative voices dovetail for a fast-moving, comic story of longing and redemption, while flipping a number of Southern clichés on their ears.
Scott Gould is the author of the memoir Thing That Crash, Things That Fly, the novels, Whereabouts and The Hammerhead Chronicles, as well as the story collection, Strangers to Temptation. He is a multiple winner of the S.C. Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowship in Prose and a recipient of the S.C. Academy of Authors Fiction Fellowship. Other honors include a 2022 Memoir Prize for Books, an Independent Press Aware, an IPPY Award for Southern Fiction and the Larry Brown Short Story Award. His work has appeared in Kenyon Review, Black Warrior Review, New Madrid Journal, New Ohio Review, Crazyhorse, Pithead Chapel, BULL, Garden & Gun, New Stories from the South, and others. He lives in Sans Souci, South Carolina. He pulls for the Braves. Always.
A recipient of the South Carolina Governor's Award for the Awards, Betsy Wakefield Teter served as executive director of the Hub City Writers Project for 22 years, founding Hub City Press, HUB-BUB, and the Hub City Bookshop. Now retired, she has recently published two family history books about Wakefields and Townsends. She reads fiction voraciously, especially while traveling, so that she can annually produce her much-awaited "Top 10 Novels of the Year" list.