With her eagerly awaited second novel, Coal Run, Tawni O’Dell takes
us back to the coal mining country of western Pennsylvania, the
territory she renders with striking authenticity. Ivan Zoschenko,
the local deputy and erstwhile football legend, “The Great Ivan Z,” sidelined years ago by a knee injury, spends a week seemingly preparing
for an old teammate’s imminent release from prison. In doing so, Ivan
introduces a rich cast of characters—his unexpectedly wise and comic
former beauty queen sister, his former idol Val Claypool, and the young
woman whose life he changed forever. And during the events of this week,
Ivan confronts his demons and reveals himself to be a man whose
conscience is burdened by a long-held and shocking secret that must be
Driven by the same raw energy, humor, suspense,
and compassion for a place and a way of life that made O’Dell’s first
novel so unforgettable, Coal Run is an uncompromising and absorbing novel that advances on, even transcends, the incredible promise of Back Roads.
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