Review: The Line That Held Us

While trespassing to poach a deer, Darl Moody accidentally kills the brother of a notoriously vicious man. What transpires is like a tale from an earlier time. Strip the cars and cellphones out of The Line That Held Us and you’re left with a brutal frontier story of rash decisions, revenge and salvation.

This novel by David Joy moves at a rapid pace as the consequences of the shooting reverberate, shaking the lives of an expanding number of people. Joy is masterful at writing about the lives of working class Appalachians, who act out of a need to protect what is important to them.

The Line That Held Us (Digital galley, G.P. Putnam’s Sons) asks the question, “what would you do for love?” It’s not clear until the final pages what the characters will decide and what they are capable of.