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Flying Shoes

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Near the end of this debut — a potent mix of Southern melancholy and charm — narrator Mary Byrd Thornton says to her young son, ”We want life to be nice and neat and sometimes it’s not. Sometimes it’s…messy. And sad.” Flying Shoes luxuriates in life’s messiness — eccentric friends, freakish weather — and its sadness, too, as Mary Beth learns more about the sexual assault and murder of her 9-year-old stepbrother. A-