June 2010 Indie Next List
“Gripping and raw, set between the moral compass of the '40s and the social revolution of the '60s, this novel follows a West Virginia family though their turbulent relationships with war, poverty, social injustice and racial segregation. I It would be hard not to call this a piece of fine art, with its classic storytelling and brilliant writing.”
— Scott Fultz, Next Chapter Bookshop, Mequon, WI
1941. Loyal Ledford works the swing shift at the Mann Glass factory in Huntington, West Virginia. He courts Rachel, the boss's daughter, a company nurse with coal black hair. But when Pearl Harbor is attacked, Ledford, like so many young men of his time, sets his life on a new course.
Upon his return from service in the war, Ledford starts a family with Rachel but chafes under the authority at Mann Glass. He is a lost man, disconnected from the present and haunted by his violent past, until he meets his cousins the Bonecutter brothers. Their land, mysterious, elemental Marrowbone Cut, calls to Ledford, and it is there that The Marrowbone Marble Company is slowly forged. Over the next two decades, the factory grounds become a vanguard of the civil rights movement and a home for those intent on change. Such a home inevitably invites trouble, and Ledford must fight for his family.
Returning to the West Virginia territory of his critically acclaimed novel, The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart, Glenn Taylor recounts the transformative journey of a man and his community.
“THE MARROWBONE MARBLE COMPANY is a novel about one man’s mountaintop idealism, but written in so earthy and sweat-streaked a way that it never runs out of oxygen.”
-Christian Science Monitor
“Taylor’s socially astute and fast-moving sophomore novel is earthy, authentic, and a testament to his literary talent.”
-Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Taylor fluidly composes a portrait of a man whose sheer fortitude makes molehills out of mountains...powerful prose...a big, ambitious book that falls somewhere between the sweeping epics of Richard Russo and the masculine bravado of Ken Kesey’s best work.”
“Taylor has created a remarkably complex, soulful, and provocative historical novel righteous in its perspective on America’s struggle to live up to its core beliefs.”
-Booklist (starred review)
“A beautifully realized novel...Central among [the characters] is Loyal Ledford himself. A renegade who rejects the precast American Dream for something more elusive, perhaps even unattainable, this scarred, flawed man embodies a familiar component of our national character: hope.”
“A novel of stirring clarity and power [that] speaks unforgettably from a half century ago to issues still unresolved in American life. Taylor has composed a hymn to the human heart.”
-Jayne Anne Phillips, author of LARK AND TERMITE
“A terrific rough-and-tumble novel. It’s set in West Virginia, which may be the last state in the US where whole-hearted goodness, violence, hard work and hard ways are all just a breath apart. Glenn Taylor gets it all in—both in sharp detail and in bold broad strokes.”
-John Casey, National Book Award-winning author of SPARTINA
“Captivating . . . . A rich stew, one well-worth savoring.”