Woodrell does an admirable job painting realistic, detailed, and vibrant characters. Alma Dunahew works as a maid in West Table, Missouri for a wealthy family. After her sister, along with 42 members of the town, are killed in an explosion at the local dance hall, Alma spends her life campaigning for and championing the truth. This novel about a town ripped apart by tragedy, and the effect this tragedy has on the town throughout multiple generations, echoes former greats like Winesburg, Ohio and The Scarlet Letter. I personally found the non-linear chronology sometimes hard to follow, but it does help give a sense of the ripple through time that our actions can cause.