Clay’s Quilt by Silas House

Clay’s Quilt is set in Appalachia during the 1980’s when Gen Xers were young, everyone smoked and Lucinda Williams sounded best in a loud vehicle being driven very fast with the windows down. This was House’s first published novel, it begins some time after the events in The Coal Tattoo (read my review here.) I really, really enjoyed Tattoo and found myself only liking Clay’s Quilt. I enjoyed the story, but I felt more invested in Tattoo. There is no way to know how I would have felt if I read the books in publishing order. I also wonder if it could be the difference in have a male main character instead of a female lead. By reading around the published order I am able to see and appreciate the growth in House’s writing.

I really like how he is is building a generational storyline over several books. The love of family and place is more encompassing that just an immediate family and their time on earth. To truly tell the story of a region the generational aspect is key as more is inherited than just physical traits.

As a music fan I really enjoy how House sets a time, mood or idea with music. This is another stylistic choice that weaves through his books. Lucinda is my Starbucks name.

One of my COVID-19 isolation goals is to read the books of Silas House. I am reading them the order in which I can get them on Kindle loan from my library. As a Kentuckian I want to read the work of a native son of the the state. And I really like him on Twitter, lots of good recommendations. Time with House’s writing and characters has enriched my quarantine time.

Note: I read books blind as I like discovering the story for myself. This is why I don’t give a synopsis. I don’t want to know all about what I am about to read and I extend that consideration and curtesy to you. If you want to have a book discussion, please leave a comment. I love to talk books. And yoga. And horses.

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