By Joyce Carol Oates
448 pages; Ecco

Joyce Carol Oates's fiction is often suffused with a kind of bleak romanticism, not least in her latest, Little Bird of Heaven. The walking wounded include love-starved adolescent Krista Diehl, her adored and volatile father, Eddy, and furious Aaron Kruller, son of the gently seductive young woman Eddy may have murdered. Coursing through these pages is the Black River in upstate Sparta, New York, a darkly realistic pathway for lethal dreams.


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