Friday, June 21, 2024

Five top jailhouse confessional novels

Carol LaHines’s debut novel, Someday Everything Will All Make Sense, was a finalist for the Nilsen Prize for a First Novel and an American Fiction Award. Her fiction has appeared in literary journals including Fence, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Denver Quarterly, Cimarron Review, The Literary Review, The Laurel Review, North Dakota Quarterly, South Dakota Review, The South Carolina Review, The Chattahoochee Review, Sycamore Review, Permafrost, redivider, Literary Orphans, and Literal Latte.

LaHines’s new novel is The Vixen Amber Halloway.

At CrimeReads the author tagged five jailhouse confessional novels, including:
Cracks, by Sheila Kohler

Cracks, by Sheila Kohler, is a marvelous example of an apologia for crimes earlier committed. The novel opens as former students of a girls’ boarding school in South Africa are returning for a reunion. We learn that there is a classmate who is no longer there; that there is a teacher who left under hazy circumstances. We realize that something is amiss, that something occurred that the women are trying to cover up. The effect is magnified in Cracks because there are multiple voices—the chorus of schoolgirls, each with her own perspective on the ancient crime. Like Nabokov, her protagonists lure us in; we want to believe them, to absolve them. The two-storyline setup allows Kohler to prolong the suspense, to reach a feverish crescendo, before we learn the truth—if there is such a thing—of what actually transpired.
Read about another title on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue