Oliver Loving: A Novel
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Date: January 2018
Duration: 15 hours 43 minutes
'An expert performance by Michael Crouch highlights life-changing moments in a family...He transforms what has become a tragically familiar story into an intricate, nuanced puzzle about real people and real consequences.' - AudioFile Magazine, Earphones Award winner
From Stefan Merrill Block, celebrated literary talent and author of The Story of Forgetting, comes a brilliant, propulsive audiobook about family, the traumas and secrets that test our deepest bonds, and the stories that hold us together.
One warm, West Texas November night, a shy boy named Oliver Loving joins his classmates at Bliss County Day School's annual dance, hoping for a glimpse of the object of his unrequited affections, an enigmatic Junior named Rebekkah Sterling. But as the music plays, a troubled young man sneaks in through the school's back door. The dire choices this man makes that evening -and the unspoken story he carries- will tear the town of Bliss, Texas apart.
Nearly ten years later, Oliver Loving still lies wordless and paralyzed at Crockett State Assisted Care Facility, the fate of his mind unclear. Orbiting the still point of Oliver's hospital bed is a family transformed: Oliver's mother, Eve, who keeps desperate vigil; Oliver's brother, Charlie, who has fled for New York City only to discover he cannot escape the gravity of his shattered family; Oliver's father, Jed, who tries to erase his memories with bourbon. And then there is Rebekkah Sterling, Oliver's teenage love, who left Texas long ago and still refuses to speak about her own part in that tragic night. When a new medical test promises a key to unlock Oliver's trapped mind, the town's unanswered questions resurface with new urgency, as Oliver's doctors and his family fight for a way for Oliver to finally communicate - and so also to tell the truth of what really happened that fateful night.
A moving meditation on the transformative power of grief and love, a slyly affectionate look at the idiosyncrasies of family, and an emotionally-charged page-turner, Oliver Loving is an extraordinarily original audiobook that ventures into the unknowable and returns with the most fundamental truths.
More praise for Oliver Loving:
'A breathtaking tale of tragedy and redemption...A triumph.' - People Magazine
'The book poses big questions about what constitutes a life worth living.' - Publishers Weekly
'Powerful, ambitious...a beautifully rendered meditation on the nature of forgiveness, mercy, and healing.' - Library Journal