If you're among the many readers who have enjoyed Damaged Goods (by the same author), you already know how faultlessly Alex Allred can bring small Texan communities to life. When you finish reading her books, it seems you have actually lived there.

With her new novel, White Trash, Allred takes us to Granby, the place to which Thia (Theresa) Franks had vowed never to return. Thia's promising career crashed, and she's single again, with a baby to raise; so she has to come back and live with her mother, accepting her and her aunt's help. Thia has to settle for a modest job in the local newspaper and come to terms with failure.

Through her eyes, we see her fellow citizens live and act, and we're told of their quirks and small (and big) lunacies.

"She was the Paris Hilton of Granby. Talk about trash."

Thia’s schoolmates have grown, and some of them made a mess of their life; older people are set in their ways and gossip is rampant, as it always was.

"There was no telling if they were ever good girls, but boredom and the disease of little expectation had rotted them both to where all one could expect was when the next would be expecting."

Alex Allred certainly doesn’t put on rosy glasses when describing the community under her scrutiny: even a thriving weapon smuggling business is going on.

Are there any nice things in Granby?
Yes. It's a safe community – or so it looks – and it has a solidarity that transcends petty feelings and prejudices. So Thia is warming up to her hometown, until tragedy strikes and the plot turns to mystery. James Otis – a young black man who was picking up his life after the end of a career in sports and some wild years – is brutally murdered after his graduation party.

White Trash's shocking storyline is based on real people and true events in a small rural town in Texas. The novel has a hilarious cast, but after the murder everyone is being watched, and everyone is being judged.

What a non-American reviewer really appreciates about this book is that it dispels a lot of ideas and misconceptions on white and black people relations, particularly in Southern US. For instance, the graduation party connected with the murder was a mixed one, and the atmosphere there appeared to be completely relaxed.

But, why did James Otis die in such a gruesome way? Speculation is overflowing: theory after theory accumulate, from a revamping of the Ku Klux Klan hating that a black boy was making it good, to more private reasons. The answer, when it comes, will be a surprise. The reasons of James’s death spring from a distant past, from events that can happen (and do happen, unfortunately) in any community and on any latitude, without anything to do with the skin color.

At the end of the story the community will be at peace again – the mystery solved, the bereaved consoled. We see Thia at her aunt’s surprising wedding, and – who knows? – maybe there's a romance in store for her, too.
Camilla and Raum

Alexandra Allred’s writing career began following a stint on the US women’s bobsled team. After being named “Athlete of the Year” by the United States Olympic Committee, she became an adventure writer. While writing for a variety of national publications, she test drove the Volvo Gravity Car, donned a dog attack suit, played professional women’s football, and even outran a beefalo mix (that’s a buffalo/cow mix to you city folk).

She turned to fiction writing using her rural Texas homestead as fodder for storytelling. When not writing, she lobbies for healthy children. Allred lives outside Dallas, Texas, with her husband, children, and a plethora of animals.

Ways to connect with the author:

Twitter: @alexandraallred

White Trash is available on Amazon, B&N.com, Kobo, iTunes, and The Writer's Coffee Shop website.

White Trash summary:
It all started when someone called an African American toddler "cute little niglet." White Trash was created in tribute to this unknown child. It has a hilarious cast and shocking storyline based on real people and true events in a small rural town in Texas. When Thia Franks returns to her home of Granby, Texas, the very place to which she’d vowed never to return, Granby’s worst and best elements force the new single mother to face both her past and her destiny. At first, it seems that nothing has changed: Chester Kennedy’s goats continue to run rampant through the town, Officer Tina Wolfe stands accused of racial profiling the growing Hispanic community, Thia’s gun-wielding neighbor believes a squirrel has it in for her, and the town’s local newspaper owner prints only what she believes the citizens should know. But when a young black man—an upstanding and popular citizen of the small, east-central Texas town—is brutally murdered, everything changes. Everyone is being watched. Everyone is being judged.
White Trash is a fast-paced, laugh-out-loud book that also serves as a bitter social commentary on American hypocrisies and prejudices. As Thia Franks comes to terms with the murder, and the small police department works the biggest whodunit in Granby history, a startling underworld of domestic abuse, gunrunning, drug use, illicit sex, and child molestation is revealed. While the murder is horrendous and some of the citizens of Granby are appalling, many stand up for what is right, and the total package is endearing. You’ll want to read White Trash more than once in order to capture all of the tale’s insights as it neatly summarizes the reality of every American small town peopled with neighbors you can’t get away from, you can’t stop talking about, and you may not want to leave.


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