I Am the Light of This World by Parker
The searing and unforgettable story of one decision that irrevocably changes the course of a young man’s life.
In the early 1970s, in Stovall, Texas, seventeen-year-old Earl—a loner, a dreamer, a lover of music and words—meets and is quickly infatuated with Tina, the new girl in town. She convinces Earl to drive her to see her mother in Austin, where, after a hazy night of partying, Earl and Tina are separated. Two days later, Earl is being questioned by the police about Tina’s disappearance and the blood in the trunk of his car. But Earl can’t remember what happened in Austin, and with little support from his working-class family, he is sentenced for a crime he did not commit.
Forty years later, Earl is released into an America so changed he can barely navigate it. Determined to have the life that was taken from him, he settles in a small town on the Oregon coast and works to overcome the emotional toll of incarceration. But just as Earl finds a chance to begin again, his past returns to endanger the new life he’s built.
Steeped in the music and atmosphere of the 1970s, I Am the Light of This World is a gritty, gripping, and gorgeously written story of the impulsive choices of youth, redemption, mercy, and the power of the imagination.