SOURCE: Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University

February 21, 2017 10:46 ET

MFA Faculty Member Lydia Peelle Releases Debut Novel

MANCHESTER, NH--(Marketwired - February 21, 2017) - MFA faculty member Lydia Peelle has released her debut novel, The Midnight Cool (Harper). The novel opens in August 1916 as a couple of wandering horse traders, Charles McLaughlin and Billy Monday, arrive in a little town outside Nashville and buy a particularly splendid black mare. The horse, a creature of almost uncanny beauty, turns out to be less perfect than she seems, and her purchase ultimately reshapes the lives of the two men just as U.S. involvement in World War I throws the whole country into turmoil. So far the reviews for The Midnight Cool have been overwhelmingly positive:

"Peelle's tale grapples with some of the enduring themes of American literature: the lure of wilderness versus the urge to civilize, conformity in conflict with personal freedom, the soulless pursuit of money, and the inescapable specter of racism. There are moments in "The Midnight Cool" that recall canonical authors from Thoreau to Wharton, from Fitzgerald to Faulkner. That's not to say the book seems derivative; it's a vigorous and original story, and Peelle does an impressive job of creating a coherent and emotionally real fictional world." -- Knoxville News Sentinel

"Ms. Peelle entertains in the novel in a folksy way that might lapse more frequently into hokey in a less confident writer's hands. She knows how to spin macho aphorisms in the way of westerns, making them feel both overheated and satisfying." -- The New York Times

"The Midnight Cool is a masterfully crafted novel of victory and defeat, longing, discovery and treachery, featuring a cast of characters portrayed with such depth as to become memorable long after we close the cover." -- Book Reporter

"Peelle is a natural storyteller with a fine sense of town life and characters and of a time when maybe irony couldn't tarnish words like duty." -- Kirkus Reviews

"Peelle's storytelling talents and down-home writing style are showcased finely in The Midnight Cool. The author adds fascinating dimension to her tale of two drifters caught in a small town as America prepares to go to war. Although readers may find themselves drawn to one character over another, this doesn't detract from this tale of dark secrets, patriotism, honesty and friendship." -- RT Book Reviews

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