- Release Date: March 8, 2016
- Pages: 384
- Genre: Contemporary
- Publisher: Crown (Random House)
Apparently my new jam is contemporary told from the POV of a trio of friends because in a lot of ways this book is like Fans of The Impossible Life by Kate Scelsa which I read last year around this time and enjoyed.
Our unlikely friend group in The Serpent King consists of; Travis who lives in a fantasy world to escape his abusive home life; Dill, the son of the Pentecostal signs preacher who handles snakes and is currently in prison for possession of child porn and then there is Lydia. Lydia should be the popular girl, her parents are upper middle class, she runs a successful fashion blog and is internet friends with the daughters of New York elite. But all of that makes her a misfit in Forrestville, a small Tennessee town named after the founder of the Ku Klux Klan.
The dynamics of the characters and sense of place are just perfect. There was an interesting tension between Lydia and the boys because she is from a richer, more liberal family while they are from poorer and more religious conservative upbringings. I happened to hear Gwen Glazer on The Librarian Is In podcast describe this book as evocative and that is just the perfect way to describe it. I actually read the first 50% of this in May and then forgot about it until August, but I was thrown right back into the story and characters, three months later.