This was an incredibly good novel about a young woman from the backwoods of Mississippi who leaves her rough, impovershed existence by hitting the road with 2 dollars and the clothes on her back. She is beautiful and totally naive and her unwitting sex appeal causes a chain of events that she never intended and is powerless to stop. She is a train wreck waiting to happen. I could hardly stand to put it down once I started it.
This book is a WONDERFUL STORY and shows how someone can survive against all odds---I felt so bad for Fay yet at times I was extremely proud of her and felt sad to see the book end especially since you come to love Fay as if she were real--hated to put it down--a thick book but worth every page.
Wow...what an amazing book. It pulled you into a world we know very little about and really don't see. The story of Fay is so engaging that I carried this book around with me for days not wanting to put it down. I only accidentally discovered this book here on paperbackswap.com and am so glad I did. I can not believe I only just found such an amazing story and hope that my review will do the same for many others. I think the book would make an awesome independent movie but that's probably hoping for too much!
This book totally drew me in to the fate of Fay. Unbelievably inexperienced in life and in many ways clueless but nevertheless I couldn't help being hopeful for her future. Seventeen and walking away from an a family where no one was there for her and her father was moving in on her in ways she knew to be wrong she strikes off on her own heading for Biloxi and a better life. Many false starts and disappointments down the long road and Fay is learning about life and not from the best teachers. An intense read. Much more sensual than my usual taste but not offensive as that was what the lessons were all about. Life and men and men and life.
Really, really good book. I'd never read Larry Brown until this book. You just get so caught up in it. His writing is magical.
Wow, what a story. You just have to believe that this girl's life will get better, but each turn of the road brings more drama. I couldn't put this down and just kept reading until I was finished. Definately not dissappointing and most definately a great read.
i loved this book but am glad i didn't live this life
I enjoyed this book - it was a quick easy read with a good story.
This is the Black Swan (British) paperback edition of Larry Brown's book, Fay, that I bought new from the Strand in NYC. There was a whole stack of them. It was one of those books that I probably wouldn't have found on my own if it hadn't been for browsing in the Strand, and I'm glad I found it. I consider it to be a more gritty, realist version of Billie Letts' Where the Heart Is. The amazon description is below:
Larry Brown's Fay picks up at the precise moment when its 17-year-old heroine walks out of his 1991 novel Joe. And really, who could blame her? Fay's father, Wade Jones, was one of the most enduring villains in recent fiction, the kind of man who would trade a son for a car and a daughter's virginity for a few $20 bills. Reared in migrant camps, tarpaper shacks, and, most recently, an abandoned cabin, Fay herself is pretty, goodhearted, astonishingly ignorant: in other words, trouble in a too-tight dress and a pair of rotting tennis shoes. Fleeing her father's advances, she takes to the Mississippi road in a passage that, with its rough music, is pure Brown:
She came down out of the hills that were growing black with night, and in the dusty road her feet found small broken stones that made her wince. Alone for the first time in the world and full dark coming quickly. House lights winked through the trees as she walked and swung her purse from her hand. She could hear cars passing down the asphalt but she was still a long way from that.
For the first time, Brown narrates most of a novel from a woman's point of view, and while the result is every bit as gripping as his previous work, it is also more inward-looking. Joe, for instance, reads like something carved out of a block of granite; in Fay, Brown feels somehow closer to the story--almost tender, or as tender as a writer with such an unflinching gaze can be. As Fay hitchhikes her way down Highway 55, from the woods near Oxford to the beaches and strip bars of Biloxi, she draws both men and violence to her like a magnet. Utterly without envy or self-pity, she is a force of nature, pure and simple, and Fay illuminates just how deadly her kind of innocence can be.
It's no value judgment to say this book is about white trash. Brown knows it, the reader knows it, Fay knows it; at one point, she even muses, "She never had been called a white trash piece of shit before but she'd been called white trash." But don't mistake Brown's work for mere trailer-park sociology. Despite the redneck trappings, the Jones family has been with us since the beginning of time, and their story, like all tragedies, is both larger than life and just like it too. "White trash," after all, is just another way of saying "not many choices." In writing about lives stripped down to their essentials, Brown reminds us of the dark truths our choices sometimes allow us to forget.
This book was a challenging read, because of its length and because it is depressing. Fay is a trainwreck, and the majority of the people around her have serious issues too. However, the writing is excellent, and Larry Brown shows the reader the underbelly of America occupied by the impoverished and those with little hope.