In the world of the idyllic and quintessential American Small Town, the congenial façade of sweet tea and rocking chairs make all kinds of family friendly promises about life in the quiet parts of the country. The culture of wholesome, Midwestern living has empowered many a commercial with the means to sell everything from scented candles to fried chicken; depictions of The Simple Life are like a good tummy rub for the busy, American psyche. But for those of us who have erstwhile called a small Anywhere, USA our home, the dark side beyond the popular façade of kitsch and pithy colloquial wisdom is known to lurk. For Louisvillian Andrew V. McNeill, rocking the boat on an idyllic small town setting is just the right seed for a good story. Join McNeill at Carmichael’s Bookstore tomorrow, Wednesday, May 16th, as he presents his debut novel, Breckenridge County.
Set against the backdrop of a familiar, quiet Bluegrass community, McNeill’s story weaves a plot of intrigue and grit as the actions of a town gripped in the throes of a simmering meth epidemic are left in the hands of a determined deputy sheriff. The break out novel for the local writer, Breckenridge County strips away the pretenses played out in the daily life of a seemingly serene country settlement and unveils the unpleasant realities of rural America’s increasingly dangerous and rapidly expanding drug culture. Drawing from his own experiences living in Maysville, Kentucky (population 8,000) and working as a Senior Policy Advisor to former Kentucky governor Ernie Fletcher, McNeill writes a page-turning account that addresses meth’s impact on families, corruption within small town government and other elements that have affected the steady rural decline of this generation.
Join McNeill tomorrow at Carmichaels’ Frankfort Avenue store for a reading and signing of Breckenridge County. Starting at 7pm, McNeill will share selections from the novel and be available afterwards to pen signatures and answer questions. Copies of Breckenridge County are on sale at both Carmichael’s stores in paperback for $14.95. While Louisville may spread a sweet aura of quirky hospitality and small town spirit, McNeill’s Breckenridge County reminds us rural-raised readers to be not forgetful of what traps await beneath the surface of even the most picturesque postcard.
Carmichael’s Bookstore has two area locations: 1295 Bardstown Road and 2720 Frankfort Avenue. For more information, visit the event page or call the Frankfort Avenue store at (502) 896-6950.
Image: Courtesy of Carmichael’s Bookstore website www.carmichaelsbookstore.com