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A Gathering of Old Men By Ernest Gaines

Review by Jamie Stanley

A Gathering of Old Men is set in the farm country of Louisiana This story is about the murder of a Cajun farmer named Beau Boutan and the efforts of a young woman named Candy to protect the person she believes is his murderer from arrest. From the beginning, Candy confesses to the crime, as do several old field hands who live in the vicinity. Their confessions provide each of these men an opportunity to speak truth to power. That is Sheriff Mapes, a bull-necked good ol’ boy who arrives on the crime scene intent on making a quick arrest until it slowly dawns on him that he will not get to the truth with threats. His old methods are no longer effective with these men as advanced age has imbued them with the gift of bravery. They know it’s a one-shot deal, and they are going for it. This is a quiet mystery, laced throughout with humor and enriched with the use of multiple narrators, each of whom has a distinct and nuanced voice. It’s a tale well told. It is highly recommended for older teens and adults.

Review courtesy of Northfield Public Library
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