Set in Depression-era Virginia, Lucky Strikes by Louis Bayard is the story of orphaned Amelia and her struggle to keep her siblings together.
With her mama recently dead and her pa sight unseen since birth, fourteen-year-old Amelia is suddenly in charge of her younger brother and sister, and of the family gas station. Harley Blevins, local king and emperor of Standard Oil, is in hot pursuit to clinch his fuel monopoly. To keep him at bay and her family out of foster care, Melia must come up with a father, and fast. And so when a hobo rolls out of a passing truck, Melia grabs opportunity by its beard. Can she hold off the hounds till she comes of age?
"This is a darn good yarn with plenty of room for rooting and more than a few laughs." —Booklist, starred review
"The story hurtles to a surprising, honest conclusion . . . A grand adventure." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
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Mama died hard, you should know that.
Nearly died alone, too. Now, most nights, she’d so much as groan, I’d come running, but this was late March,...
Praise for Lucky Strikes
"This is a darn good yarn with plenty of room for rooting and more than a few laughs." —Booklist, starred review on Lucky Strikes
"The story hurtles to a surprising, honest conclusion—the "you" addressed in the first line is a tender surprise. A grand adventure." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review on Lucky Strikes
"[Features] a heroine as pragmatic and resourceful as Mary Call from Where the Lilies Bloom . . . Melia's uncompromising integrity wins the trust and affection of community members while earning her a steady stream of customers, too." —Publishers Weekly, starred review on Lucky Strikes
"Lucky Strikes is a near-perfect novel, rich in voice and emotion. Much like Melia herself, it is brash with bravado, barely concealing an inviting layer of warmth at its core." —The New York Times Book Review on Lucky Strikes
"Shockingly clever and devoutly unsentimental . . . reads like a lost classic. Bayard reinvigorates historical fiction.” —The New York Times Book Review on The Pale Blue Eye
“Brilliantly plotted and completely absorbing, ending with the kind of shock that few novelists are able to deliver.” —Sunday Times (London) on The Pale Blue Eye
A dazzling blend of literary fiction and white-knuckle thriller.” —People on Mr. Timothy