Document Type



Master of Fine Arts


Creative Writing

Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

John Dalton, MFA


Minsoo Kang, PhD

Ron Austin, MFA


This novel selection explores the fraught relationship between three generations of the Asher family. The individuals that make up this family tree are separated by their varying belief systems, personalities, and the secret acts committed against each other. After leaving the relative “safety” of the commune/cult he was born into and grew up in, Boone Asher finally meets the family members he never knew, and the inner world of the near-by town of Shelba, once unknown to him, is slowly revealed. Boone is unhappy about having left his other family, the members of the commune. But following the funeral of his grandfather, Raleigh Asher, he is inexplicably drawn into the complex family drama that begins to play out as he uncovers the truth about his father and his father before him.

Intertwined with Boone’s present-day narrative is the story of the rise and fall of Raleigh Asher, his grandfather: the harbinger and unwilling witness to many of the novel’s horrors.

This is a story about shame, fear, and the crimes some will commit when there is no one to hold them accountable.

Available for download on Sunday, October 11, 2218

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