It's the story of the small town of Mercury, Mississippi, told through the lives of various inhabitants, including a white man, Finus, and his lifelong love, Birdie; and a black girl, Creasie, and her Aunt Vish--slave descendants who see Mercury as the zone of their captivity. All over Mercury, characters dream about moments in the past when they wish they'd had the courage to change the course of their lives. Watsons (Last Days of the Dog-Men) ornate, lush prose will remind readers of Faulkner, but he has a much lighter touch. Mercury is a sad world of violent drunks, unpunished crimes, and unrequited love, but Watsons wry observations work to dispel the gloom (a strict Christian woman wears "a tight brown bun in her hair like an onion God drew forth from her mind").
A gorgeous portrayal of lifelong friendship, restless passion, marital discord and accomodation, aging and remembrance, death and afterlife.
This book is weird and awesome at the same time. I thoroughly enjoyed it!