Bryce Gibson’s Unclaimed Acre opens in the south of the United States, where Levi Stanley has just lost his job in Atlanta, and, strapped for cash, is reluctantly contemplating a trip back to small-town Devlin to sell his family home. Scourged by old memories, Levi hasn’t set foot in the town since his mother’s funeral two years ago, and the nightmares about his prospective trip have already set in. His history has a long reach as far as Levi is concerned, and the closer he gets to Devlin, the more the past drags him in, from the smell of squash rotting by the road to the old haunted church, until Levi begins to wonder if he isn’t in his own, real-life ghost story.
Unclaimed Acre offers a detailed, evocative view of life in the southern states, bringing the scents and sounds and mosquitoes to life in the pages. Devlin itself is a lovingly set scene in all its multiple moods and weathers, right down to the best squash casserole to buy at the annual festival. Bryce Gibson’s depth of knowledge of his subject matter shines through in the scene-setting. I did find that the story itself lagged somewhat on its way to a well-foreshadowed, but somewhat anticlimactic ending, as to some degree the level of detail, while setting the reader very well in the scene, detracted from the tension of the story. However, for anyone looking for a relaxing read in a southern setting, this would definitely be a worthwhile read.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.