2000, 1st edition; Viking publishers; hardbound in khaki and black boards with bold silver lettering along spine; very good condition with clean pages, appears unread; dust jacket very good.
Back Roads is the 1999 novel by the American writer Tawni O'Dell, and was chosen as an Oprah's Book Club selection in March 2000.
Harley Altmyer should be in college drinking beer and chasing girls. He should be freed from his stifling coal town with its lack of jobs and no sense of humor. Instead he's marooned in the Pennsylvania backwoods caring for his three younger sisters after the shooting death of his physically abusive father and the arrest of his mother.
Life is further complicated when he develops an obsession with the sexy, melancholic mother of two down the road. Family secrets and unspoken truths threaten to consume him as his obsession deepens and she responds unearthing a series of staggering surprises. In the face of each unexpected revelation and through every wrenching ordeal, Harley does the best he can to hold it all together. Violent and disturbing yet touching and darkly funny, Harley's story is ultimately a search for his own self-worth as he slowly comes to realize that survival is a talent.