Last Sunday I went into Asheville to hear Tommy Hays reading from his new book. What I Came to Tell You is billed as a children's book but this adult found it totally charming.
Malaprop's is a great indie bookstore -- the sort that every town needs. They bend over backwards to make authors feel welcome.
Tommy is wonderful at depicting the sorrows and joys of ordinary life. His previous novel -- for adults -- The Pleasure Was Mine was a beautifully told story of a man caring for his beloved wife as she sinks into Alzheimer's. Tommy has a way of finding the gold hidden in the dark times of life and this new book is no exception.
What I Came to Tell You is the story of twelve year old Grover, as well as that of his father and his little sister, as they try to reshape their family after the sudden death of the mother. Those familiar with Asheville will enjoy the glimpses of the Thomas Wolfe House, Riverside Cemetery, and other familiar icons. But the human emotions -- grief, anger, guilt, rejection, acceptance, forgiveness, and joy -- will be familiar to everyone.