"The monster called
my cell phone this morning,
So begins Jill Lundgrove, the unforgettable protagonist of Beaut. Secluded in a cheap apartment on a ring road of Des Moines after a fire has destroyed her house- a blaze "The Monster," her drug-addicted, adult son might have caused- she confronts her precarious circumstances. "I'm in great need of reckoning," she writes, partly to herself and to another initially unnamed. What of that fire, the Monster's criminal companions, and the surprising prospect of a love affair after years of widowhood? And what of her three other children, who have variously sought to protect her, flee her, dominate her? The haunting story that follows vividly illuminates the discordant accords of marriage and madness, the ambivalence in motherhood, and the mysteries of inheritance- and bestows a strange, unexpected gift on those closest to her.
What they're saying...
"With his debut novel BEAUT, Donald Morrill shows that prose and poetry can become indistinguishable on the page just as beauty and tragedy are often indistinguishable in our lives. This is a punchy, finely written novel driven by a fierce determination to condense our humanity to the written word."
- Wiley Cash, author of The Last Ballad and The Dark Road to Mercy
"BEAUT is as sharp and luminous a novel as I have read this year, a meditation on the terrible beauty and grace of the stories we tell ourselves and the legacies we leave behind."
- Taylor Brown, author of The River of Kings and Fallen Land
DONALD MORRILL'S WORK