The unforgettable characters in Living Things are trying their best, against the odds, to make their own good in a so-called nowhere town in rural South Carolina. With great empathy and the voice of a poet, Landon Houle puts this town and the lives lived there on the map. She has pointed her pen at a forgotten America and said: These people matter. Here are their stories.
–Nicholas Montemarano, author of The Senator's Children
Houle is a writer to watch. This stunning debut is filled with fresh, affecting stories connected by character and place. In the small town of Black Creek, we meet women and girls toiling ceaselessly to outrun or outsmart their own pasts, to operate just beyond their current abilities, poignantly reminding us that everyone wants the same thing–love, belonging, more.
Charged with moments of grace and strength, the book is best summed up by Miriam in "Some Threat of Explosion" "So much had happened to all of them, and it didn't matter that you tried to be careful . . . all any of them could do was hold out their hands even as they showed their teeth."'
– Barb Johnson, author of More of This World or Maybe Another
I love the way that Landon Houle writes. She is a stunning painter of unforgettable images, and she creates characters that I can swear I've met before, that I've known my whole life. Living Things is just that–totally alive and as real as your own memories. This is a writer to watch.
– Dan Chaon, author of Ill Will