Held captive by her employers--and by her own demons--on a mysterious farm, a widow struggles to reunite with her young son in this uniquely American story of freedom, perseverance, and survival.
Darlene, once an exemplary wife and a loving mother to her young son, Eddie, finds herself devastated by the unforeseen death of her husband. Unable to cope with her grief, she turns to drugs and quickly forms an addiction. One day she disappears without a trace.
Unbeknownst to 11-year-old Eddie, now left behind and in a panic-stricken search for her, Darlene has been lured away with false promises of a good job and a rosy life. A shady company named Delicious Foods shuttles her to a remote farm, where she is held captive, performing hard labor in the fields to pay off the supposed debt for her food, lodging, and the constant stream of drugs the farm provides to her and the other unfortunates imprisoned there.
In Delicious Foods James Hannaham tells the gripping story of three unforgettable characters: a mother, her son, and the drug that threatens to destroy them. Through Darlene's haunted struggle to reunite with Eddie, through the efforts of both to triumph over those who would enslave them, and through the irreverent and mischievous voice of the drug that narrates Darlene's travails, Hannaham's daring and shape-shifting prose infuses this harrowing experience with grace and humor.
The desperate circumstances that test the unshakeable bond between this mother and son unfold into myth, and Hannaham's treatment of their ordeal spills over with compassion. Along the way we experience a tale at once contemporary and historical that wrestles with timeless questions of love and freedom, forgiveness and redemption, tenacity and the will to survive.
"James Hannaham's new novel is a tour de force. Gripping, haunting, and deeply moving, it beguiles the reader with the urgent immediacy of its characters' lives, while also reverberating with universal themes of freedom and enslavement, love and survival." (Jennifer Egan, Pulitzer Prize winner for A Visit From the Goon Squad)
"Author James Hannaham--who is clearly comfortable behind the mic--skillfully narrates a story of human exploitation, addiction, and grief." (AudioFile)
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Amazing! I love these characters and their story.
Authors Should not Narrate
OK, the story is great and I probably should have read Delicious Foods and not listened to it. Why? As I said in the headline, authors should not narrate their books... they are writers, not performers. The author, who does indeed narrate the book, has the annoying habit of snorting out some words and phrases. It's subtle, but there nonetheless. Kind of like that irksome drip that catches your attention, or that irritating sound coming from under the dashboard... once it reaches your consciousness , you can't seem to ignore it.
The story itself is great and Hannaham is a gifted writer and so I anxiously await his next piece of work. Whom narrates will determine if I listen or read!