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Vanishing Starlight by David Clarkson

Vanishing Starlight

by David Clarkson

500 pages
Multicultural characters in tragic conflict during the 1950s.

Paperback $20.95   + $12.16 shipping & handling (USA)
(add $3.50 S&H per additional copy)
Category: Fiction:Mystery
(requires Adobe Reader)
About the Book
After three members of his family are tragically drowned, Roscoe moves to Paris, Texas (the authentic city, not the state of mind misrepresented in the 1984 movie). Intending to rebuild his life, he weds Fernia, a former sweetheart, whose perky daughter he protects with paranoid intensity. When he falsely imagines that Lafeat, a morally strong tenant farmer, is a threat to Tanjie, a conflict develops.

Leticia, an American of Mexican ancestry, has ambivalent feelings about growing up in Dallas's Little Mexico. She meets Tanjie in Paris during her family's itinerant work as field hands, but is uncertain about befriending her due to her stepfather's (Roscoe's) biased attitudes.

Tanjie becomes romantically involved with Dewain, who has doubts because of false rumors about her virtue. A major menace to their relationship is Elmore, her stepbrother and a budding psychotic, the only survivor besides Roscoe in the aforementioned drownings.

Delahunt, a detective, is stumped when Tanjie is found to have suffered suspicious injuries during a birthday party. All clues lead to dead ends, and when he retires to another city Tanjie is left vulnerable. Her mother's illicit affair with Bruce leads Tanjie astray, but Roscoe sees himself as Tanjie's guide and saviour.

The novel is packed with nostalgia, including automobiles, bygone products, movies, and songs with emphasis on those recorded by African-American artists. There is much lore on vanishing aspects of the American scene: bootmaking, cotton picking, syrup making, and sawmilling to name a few. Fauna and flora are interwoven profusely into the narrative. An appearance by Elvis Presley with the Louisiana Hayride in 1955, a flashback to the nation's third most devastating municipal fire in 1916, and a description of a horrific lynching in 1893 give the novel a historical slant.

Factor all of this into a shocking, heart-rending ending, and here stands a tale with something for everyone.


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    Latina survives brutal attacks, transcends to spiritual triumph through love.


About the Author
The author is a native Texan who served in the Marine Corps and attended college in Texas and New Mexico. His many jobs encompass artist, bootmaker, manual labor, proofreader, and teacher of art and English in California. He now resides in the Dallas, Texas area.



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