Find out the latest indie author news. For FREE.

Formats
Paperback Details
  • 09/2020
  • 978-0-9708310-8-8
  • 352 pages
  • $18.95
Ebook Details
  • 09/2020
  • 978-1-7347389-1-9
  • 352 pages
  • $6.99
Louis Flint Ceci
Author, Translator, Editor (anthology)
If I Remember Him
After the town of Croy, Oklahoma, is almost completely destroyed by a tornado, its leading citizen, Lerner Alquist, vows to build a library as a memorial to his wife, who was lost in the storm. It takes seventeen years, but in 1952 the project is finally nearing completion. As a crowning ornament, Alquist commissions a sculpture for the entrance. But his own racism and the town's racial, religious, and sexual fault lines threaten to undermine the one symbol that might unite them all. Passions, politics, and personal disasters explode as the sculpture is unveiled, and the lives of many in the town will never be the same.
Reviews
Ceci (Comfort Me) opens this intense historical novel in 1935 with a catastrophic tornado that forever changes the lives of those in the tiny town of Croy, Okla.—and leaves one of its wealthy residents, Lerner Alquist, obsessed with building a library as a memorial to the wife he lost to the twister. In 1952, Croy has rebuilt but holds many secrets. Andy Simms, the church music minister, is dating Pastor Matthew Jacobs’s daughter, Susan, but in love with a man, Sikh artist Sundar “Sunny” Singh Sohi. Virginia, Lerner’s neglected daughter, secretly marries Harry Edom, a Chickasaw handyman. When the long-delayed library is finally finished and dedicated, tensions come to an ugly head.

Ceci skillfully paints a portrait of deeply pious and deeply prejudiced townspeople during a time when to be anything other than a straight white Christian was dangerous. He poignantly reveals the hypocrisy of those who profess a loving faith while treating others poorly for their race or sexual orientation. The author drives this point home by showing that Lerner Alquist’s deep prejudices cost him the very things he holds dear. History buffs, especially those who are students of the grave inequities suffered by nonwhite people, non-Christians, and gay people in mid-century America, will find much they recognize.

Ceci’s lyrical writing (“She was still there when the rain clouds loosened their grip and pale blue light slid through ever-widening sky to disclose the dawn”) and deft worldbuilding make Croy a town readers will easily get lost in. Vivid characterization renders the characters’ sorrows all the more poignant, and Ceci pulls no punches when depicting the virulence of bigotry and the toll it takes on both its victims and its perpetrators. This portrait of the many forms and shades of grief will leave readers breathless.

Takeaway: This expertly researched and skillfully written tale of love, rage, and grief will engross any reader with an interest in the mid-20th-century Midwest.

Great for fans of Todd Haynes’s Far from Heaven, James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room, John Knowles’s A Separate Peace.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: -
Editing: A-
Marketing copy: A-

Formats
Paperback Details
  • 09/2020
  • 978-0-9708310-8-8
  • 352 pages
  • $18.95
Ebook Details
  • 09/2020
  • 978-1-7347389-1-9
  • 352 pages
  • $6.99

Loading...