In Flyshoals, Georgia, karma is writ small enough to witness. When Doreen Swilley discovers that her boss and lover of thirty years intends to fire her to placate his dying wife, she devises a plan to steal his business from him. Her plan just might work too, if she is not thwarted by a small town’s enmeshed histories and her family’s own dark secrets.
Set during the 2009 recession, The Nature of Remains rests at the intersection of class, gender, education and place. Through extended geological metaphor, readers witness the orogeny, crystallization, and weathering of the human soul. Doreen’s journey reveals the ways even a woman’s most precious connections—her children, her grandchildren, her lover—operate within larger social structures capable of challenging her sovereignty.
About the Author
Ginger Eager’s reviews, essays, and short stories have appeared in the Chattahoochee Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Georgia Review, West Branch, and elsewhere. She lives in Decatur, Georgia.
“With the wrenching simplicity of Kent Haruf and the dark southern lyricism of Daniel Woodrell, the author of The Nature of Remains has generated a story that’s tragic and restrained, piercing, compassionate, and incredibly wise in the ways of human nature. Like the amethysts that make up the book’s thematic core, the characters are shaped by powerful forces from within and without. They fracture and yield. They cleave blindly to the very patterns that will destroy them.”
— Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife and Circling the Sun
“Eager’s evocative debut sings with the true cadence of the South. Her writing is sure and graceful, her characters both fully formed and flawed. Doreen Swilley is a feminist everyman, and her struggles to find justice and softness in the hardscrabble world Eager renders so truthfully broke my heart in all the best ways. The Nature of Remains is a story that will linger in your mind and heart, told beautifully by a writer of rare talent. Don’t miss it.”
— Joshilyn Jackson, author of The Almost Sisters and The Opposite of Everyone