June 4, 2022
Pete loved this book, an atmospheric, swampy coming of age story set in a North Carolina marina on a man made lake.
All seventeen-year-old Maggie Warshauer wants is to leave her stifled life in Filliyaw Creek behind and head to college. An outsider at school and uncertain of her own sexual identity, Maggie longs to start again somewhere new. Inspired by a long-dead biologist’s journals, scientific-minded Maggie spends her days sailing, exploring, and categorizing life around her. But when her beautiful cousin Charisse disappears on prom night and is found dead at the marina where Maggie lives, Maggie’s plans begin to unravel. A mysterious stranger begins stalking her and a local detective on the case leaves her struggling to hold on to her secrets—her father’s alcoholism, her mother’s abandonment, a boyfriend who may or may not exist, and her own actions on prom night. As the detective gets closer to finding the truth, and Maggie’s stalker is closing in, she is forced to come to terms with the one person who might hold the answers—herself.
Valerie Nieman is a poet and the author of the novels In the Lonely Backwater, Blood Clay, which was honored with the Eric Hoffer Prize in General Fiction; Survivors, and her first book, Neena Gatherin. She was a 2013-2014 North Carolina Arts Council poetry fellow, and has received an NEA creative writing fellowship as well as major grants in West Virginia and Kentucky. Her awards include the Greg Grummer, Nazim Hikmet, and Byron Herbert Reece poetry prizes. A former professor and journalist, she now teaches creative writing at conferences and venues such as the John C. Campbell Folk School.
To purchase a copy of In the Lonely Backwater, click here.