8.2 x 6.4 x 0.8 inches
“…WHAT GETS INTO US is a complex and remarkable book that deserves to be read slowly and re-read meditatively. Like the works of Flannery O’Connor, this collection transcends the genre of “Southern Literature” and probes deeply into the paradoxes of the psyche and the zeitgeist of modern America. Despite our prosperity, advantages, education and seemingly boundless opportunities for personal success and fulfillment, we remain a peculiarly unhappy people who spend $538,000,000 a year on self-help books to fix what’s broken inside of us. The reality is, as the classic song by the Eagles astutely observes, “We are all prisoners… of our own device.” That certainly holds true for the characters in What Gets Into Us, trapped in an emotional solitary confinement, isolated, alienated, blind to the truths that would set them free and unable to help themselves or others except by rash, irrational and sometimes violent acts of desperation.
Crone has the lyric touch of a poet and the visionary spirit of a mystic, conjuring images that are both disturbing and startlingly beautiful. The reader will never forget Claire McKenzie’s last memory of her mother or Sidney Byrd’s symbolic dream about her dead friend Pauline or Lily Stark’s stunning vision that closes this collection. Though Crone provides no easy way out for the tormented individuals of Fayton, North Carolina, there is redemption in this book. Like her characters, the reader just has to have faith in the midst of darkness and look for it.
— 15 August 2006
from the review by PHOEBE KATE FOSTER, in POPMATTERS
“Fayton, N.C., has here its own Sherwood Anderson as Crone interweaves four decades of a town’s dreams and secret sorrows. Her skill at plot and suspense so magnify each story that together they interlock and become a complex and satisfying novel. It’s like watching a magician pull from a hat a giant, astonishing rabbit who fills the stage while discussing reality and beauty in rich, literary language. All the parts of these fictions are wonderful, but their sum is a spellbinding whole..”
— FROM WRITER DORIS BETTS