The Line That Held Us by David Joy

The Line That Held Us

David Joy

The Line That Held Us is a story of friendship and family, a tale balanced between destruction and redemption, where the only hope is to hold on tight, clenching to those you love.

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From critically acclaimed author David Joy comes a remarkable novel about the cover-up of an accidental death, and the dark consequences that reverberate through the lives of four people who will never be the same again.

When Darl Moody went hunting after a monster buck he's chased for years, he never expected he'd accidentally shoot a man digging ginseng. Worse yet, he's killed a Brewer, a family notorious for vengeance and violence. With nowhere to turn, Darl calls on the help of the only man he knows will answer, his best friend, Calvin Hooper. But when Dwayne Brewer comes looking for his missing brother and stumbles onto a blood trail leading straight back to Darl and Calvin, a nightmare of revenge rips apart their world. The Line That Held Us is a story of friendship and family, a tale balanced between destruction and redemption, where the only hope is to hold on tight, clenching to those you love. What will you do for the people who mean the most, and what will you grasp to when all that you have is gone? The only certainty in a place so shredded is that no one will get away unscathed.

Advance Galley Reviews

David Joy's writing just keeps getting better and better. Poetic, fierce, unapologetic prose runs rampant in this stunning novel. Highly recommended.

The book grabbed my interest from the first page. The characters are sympathetic, well defined by the author. I was taken back by some of the graphic violence, yet I did read this book in two days. Highly recommended

Darl Moody accidentally shoots Carol (Sissy) Brewer while poaching deer on the property of Tillmon (Coon) Coward. Carol was poaching ginseng on Coon's property, when Darl mistook him for a wild hog. Calling the police would have been smart, but that didn't happen. Instead Darl panics and gets his best friend Calvin Hooper to help him, but their efforts wind up tearing apart not only their lives, but those of the people around them. Darl and Calvin aren't smart enough to hide from Carol's brother Dwayne, who is filled with an equal mix of grief and the desire for revenge. Dwayne has spent his whole life protecting Carol and isn't going to stop now. What would you do if someone killed the only person you had to love in this world? How far would you go to help your best friend? Whose life means more to you? Should you spread the pain you feel or can you find redemption and end the cycle? This book makes you think about all of those questions and leaves a giant one unanswered at the end. It was brilliant. This was my third book by this author and I'll read anything else he chooses to write. I like it that he writes southern noir with the minimum of the clichés of the genre. This book had characters with actual jobs other than meth dealer. There were no guys who spend all their time drinking beer as they ride around in their pickups, stopping occasionally to commit senseless acts of violence. Not that this book wasn't violent. It's just that I understood the motivation. Even Dwayne's, who was ultimately a tragic (though scary) figure. There are also some disgusting (non-violent) scenes that are not for the squeamish and some small animals are murdered horrifically. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

I'm going to be honest. I dont read a book if it doesnt hook me in the begining. This one did not. I didnt like the plot, and didnt identify with the characters. But tryi ti yourself. I think that is my own predjuides though and not the writer. I dont read book for violence even if its not detailed. So I didnt give the book a real go.

This book surprised me. The pace was faster than I expected it to be, and the ending wasn't at all what I had guessed. Although I wasn't pleased with the ending (my preconceived ideas about how it should end were at odds with the outcome), I like that the author did what I didn't expect. The antagonist (Dwayne Brewer) was a fully described character who, although unlikable and misguided, was trying to do what he thought was right for his brother. The flawed humanity in Dwayne was very well illustrated. The protagonists (Darl and Calvin) also were well illustrated as flawed humans, and the feeling of family between them was heartwarming. This was a very good tale -- one of those that transports you into the world of the book.

Thank you Penguin Random House for the advanced copy of this book - all opinions are my own. This is a book that packs a punch - dark, gritty, atmospheric, and tense, I picked this book up and devoured it in one sitting. Set in a small mountain town, Darl Moody finds himself in a world of trouble when he accidentally kills a man while out hunting. Terrified of the consequences from the man's family if he is found out, he makes a decision that sets off a ripple effect that may destroy everything he has every loved. David Joy is a master at writing stories that are equally beautiful and devastating. I found myself being pulled through a roller coaster of emotion during this book, where despite horrific actions, I was pulling for those characters to persevere, and simultaneously finding myself empathetic for the darkest and most villainous of characters. Despite the plot of this book, and the actions that carry it through, being wildly bleak and heartbreaking, there was so much goodness that seeped in through the cracks. You can identify with every single character, no matter how twisted, to understand the root of their actions, the why of what pushes them into the messes they get tangled into. This was a terrific read to kick off my month of reading, and has landed itself squarely as a contender for one of my top summer reads of the year. Get this on your list if you want something that is a truly unique twist on a murder mystery/character drama.

This is 100% not a book that I usually would go for, but something about the summary appealed to me. I like a good thriller and this book was fast-paced and dark. It''s my first read by David Joy and he did a fantastic job creating a truly diverse range of characters- many of which were hiding secrets. Darl and Calvin have been best friends for years, so it only makes sense for Darl to call Calvin when he accidentally kills a man while hunting deer. What results is an insane roller coaster of a story that I definitely did not see coming. THE LINE THAT HELD US is very short. I read it on a plane in a few hours but it certainly packed a punch. Darl's actions lead to a ripple effect that ends up impacting almost everyone he knows. The man he kills is a Brewer. The Brewers do not have a good reputation in the town and so when Dwayne Brewer realizes his brother is missing this does not bode well for those involved. This wasn't a typical mystery, it was definitely more of a dark thriller. Still, I was never entirely sure what shocking thing would happen next. I am always impressed by strong character development and while we never got a chance to really know the characters before the "incident", they were all certainly memorable. THE LINE THAT HELD US took place out in the middle of nowhere and focused on the intersection between family, friendship, and trust. Lies were told, promises broken, and quite a lot of blood was spilled. I am interested in seeing the wide spread reaction to this book. The ending left a little to be desired and I had to reread the last few pages to make sure I knew what had happened, but I overall found this a unique and interesting read. It certainly will not be for everyone, but I think the darkness was what made this book so powerful.

This was not the typical story lines that I read. As the story got going I did enjoy the book and was waiting to see what would happen next. I wasn’t crazy about the ending though.

David Joy really knows how to write a story that keeps your attention! Yikes! He describes graphic, tough scenes....very scary! Very good drawing up of the area, the surroundings, the atmosphere, the sounds & the smells.... I've read some of his previous work, & boy, I think he is a force to be reckoned with! Very descriptive author...... I will always look for his work! His stuff kind of 'grabs you & doesn't let you go!' This does contain quite a bit of graphic violence, but it is an element of the it fits.... This is NOT a 'cozy' read! This is a gritty, serious work..... I didn't really like the ending, but far be it from me to tell D. Joy how to end his books!! He's a great author! I received this e-ARC from Penguin's First-To-Read program, in return for my own fair/honest review.

This is a simple story told really well. Daryl Moody was illegally hunting when he accidentally shot and killed a man. Knowing the man's brother will come after him and his family if he finds out what happened, Daryl turns to his best friend Calvin for help. And nothing will be the same again. The heart of this story isn't something that hasn't been told countless times before. However, it's effective because it really plays into the whole what would you do to protect yourself and those you love angle. The book doesn't have to depend on unreliable narrators, crazy plot twists, or whatever the latest trend in storytelling is because the basic premise is enough to keep you interested in the story. Definitely recommend if you are looking for some good old fashioned storytelling but be prepared for a few graphic descriptions. Thank you to First to Read for the advance digital copy!

I felt like the author could have delved deeper with the characters and had more twists in the story. There was never a moment of “wow, I wasn’t expecting that.” Everything that came about was pretty unremarkable except for the crude details of the way the antagonist lived and kept his brother close. The author had a good writing style and knows how to tell a story, but I felt he only scratched the surface with this book.

I liked this book for the most part, it is an engrossing story of a teen going through the sudden break up her family. Therapy for her is bonding with her father's horse, Ian, now her own. Some of the focus is on caring for her horse in detail and interacting with her family. Her father leaves for another woman throwing the family dynamic off. Teagan reels from hurt and feeling left out. Parts are confusing and seem out of focus or an effect. Teagan is depressed and disconnected, at times exhibiting odd behavior. The end is simply heartbreaking. Recommend.


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