River, Sing Out by James Wade
Attempting to escape his abusive father and generations of cyclical poverty, young Jonah Hargrove joins the mysterious River—a teenage girl carrying thousands of dollars in stolen meth—and embarks on a southern gothic odyssey through the East Texas river bottoms.
They are pursued by local drug kingpin John Curtis and his murderous enforcer, Dakota Cade, with whom River was romantically involved. But Cade and Curtis have their own enemies, as their relationship with the cartel controlling their meth supply begins to sour.
Keeping tabs on everyone is the Thin Man, a silent assassin who values consequence over mercy.
Each person is keeping secrets from the others—deadly secrets that will be exposed in savage fashion as their final paths collide and all are forced to come to terms with their choices, their circumstances, and their own definition of God.
With a colorful cast of supporting characters and an unflinching violence juxtaposed against lyrical prose, River, Sing Out dives deep into a sinister and sanguinary world, where oppressive poverty is pitted against the need to believe in something greater than the self.
“Texas writer James Wade delivers a gripping and honest tale of a young boy confronting the evils of the world around him…If you enjoyed Jesmyn Ward’s Salvage the Bones or Daniel Woodrell’s Winter’s Bone, this is likely the book for you.” —San Francisco Book Review
“With echoes of Jim Harrison, Cormac McCarthy (and perhaps a smidge of Flannery O’Connor), River, Sing Out is a beautiful, brutal meditation on survival and love in the face of nearly unspeakable violence and depravity in an East Texas community ravaged by the meth trade. Taut, lyrical, and precise, the prose soars in this important new novel by James Wade.” —Elizabeth Wetmore, New York Times bestselling author
“River, Sing Out is a poetic, exceedingly descriptive gothic fiction of place and time, and even more pictorial of living a poor life in the deep East Texas woods…Roger Clark, the narrator, has a voice that is rich and expressive. A richness that makes a girl like me swoon. Clark’s changing from the various characters even to a girl to a boy never broke its cadence. Without a doubt, Clark’s voice conveys River, Sing Out into a phenomenally memorable story…It is a story that can take miles off your long drives or commutes.” —Forgotten Winds
“If you read one novel this year, make it this one. James Wade’s River, Sing Out is an instant classic filled with characters that will break your heart, lyrical prose as haunted as the river it evokes, and a Southern Noir undertow that wholly sucks you in and keeps you turning the pages until its searing, masterful conclusion.” —May Cobb, author of The Hunting Wives
“A literary work of art, with exceptional characterization and philosophical prose guiding the story along the banks of the Neches…James Wade’s writing is rhapsodic…This novel will not disappoint readers looking for thought-provoking fiction about love and affection conquering the mud and debauchery of life, even if for a little while.” —Lone Star Literary Life
James Wade lives and writes in the Texas Hill Country with his wife and daughter. He is the author of River, Sing Out and All Things Left Wild, a winner of the prestigious MPIBA Reading the West Award for Debut Fiction, and a recipient of the Spur Award for Best Historical Novel from the Western Writers of America.
Roger Clark is a professional actor and voiceover artist who lives in New York City. He is best known for his award-winning portrayal of Arthur Morgan in the 2018 video game Red Dead Redemption 2. He has performed in over forty-five countries.