IPPY Gold Medal for Regional Fiction (South)
True Stories at the Smoky View is a wry, intricate novel about family and friendship, tyranny and justice. Although Vrai (short for Vraiment), an art history librarian in Baltimore, has not spoken to her friend Skip for over a year, after his sudden death, she dutifully takes his ashes and his dog home to his mother in Knoxville, Tennessee. Vrai has no idea why Skip stepped into traffic in Baltimore with his hands over his eyes, or why he so abruptly ended their longtime friendship.
After Skip's service, Vrai rescues ten-year-old Jonathan, who has been abandoned in the funeral home parking lot. The Blizzard of 1993 soon strands this unlikely duo at the Smoky View Motel, where Jonathan, whose parents were assassinated by Pinochet's henchmen, comes across clues pointing to a possible suspect in Skip's death.
By the end of this story of mutual rescue, both Vrai's and Jonathan's lives have been changed forever.