An abusive marriage, a team of jaded federal agents, a small-time moonshining operation, a novel co-authorship. Which of these partnerships is most arduous? In “The Tilted World,” not a one of them succeeds. It opens with atmospheric promise, but Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly’s collaborative work can’t reconcile its gushy prose with its premise.
In Hobnob, a fictional city near New Orleans, several moonshiners brew out the last days of Prohibition. One resident whiskey maker, Dixie Clay, distills hooch alongside Jesse, a brutal huckster and husband. Mourning her baby lost to scarlet fever and her horrid marriage, Dixie pines for hope in a world gone dry.
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The Tilted World
Tom Franklin, Beth Ann Fennelly
William Morrow, $25.99