|THURSDAY 04/07||Westerly, RI||SAVOY BOOKSHOP|
In partnership with Ashaway Free Library
Regarding the murder that lies at the heart of “Ocean State,” the new Stewart O’Nan novel, the “whodunit” aspect lasts exactly 9 words into the book.
The first sentence of a story that takes place predominantly in Ashaway, Rhode Island, in 2009, reads: “When I was in eighth grade, my sister helped kill another girl.”
It’s a hell of an authorial gamble, and that O’Nan did so suggests he relished the challenge to shoulder significant weight in terms of developing characters and sustaining tension throughout the book after that opening detonation.
To that end, “Ocean State” isn’t a typical thriller — if indeed it IS one. Two high school girls are infatuated with the same boy, a wealthy senior named Myles who, both women know (on some level), will graduate and head off to an elite college without a glance back. He casually and deceptively ping pongs between his beautiful longtime girlfriend Angel and relative newcomer Birdy, who has her own boyfriend but is willing to leave him for even a remote shot at Myles.
O’Nan, a New York Times bestselling writer whose other novels include “Last Night at the Lobster,” “City of Secrets,” “Henry, Himself,” “The Good Wife” and “The Night Country,” will read from and discuss “Ocean State” Thursday in Westerly’s Savoy Bookshop & Cafe.https://www.theday.com/article/20220405/ENT02/220409761
Check out the latest episode of The Constant Reader Podcast, where Stewart is interviewed by the host Richard Sheppard!
Stewart O’Nan’s new book, Ocean State, has recently been released in the United States to wide acclaim. However, today we are going to look at one of his earlier books – 2001’s The Speed Queen. In a change from our usual format, this isn’t a book or an adaptation of a Stephen King text, but instead a novel that uses Stephen King as a character. King is the (unnamed but highly guessable) recipient of the last testament of Marjorie Standiford, mother, daughter, drug addict, sex addict, speed freak and apparent killer. On death row, who else but Stephen King would listen to her side of the love triangle that put her on a collision course with capital punishment?
Presented by the Greater Pittsburgh Festival of Books. Discussion with authors Clare Beams, Stewart O’Nan, & Tom Sweterlitsch.
The Greater Pittsburgh Festival of Books is coming in May!