Late on a hot summer night in 1965, Charlie Bucktin, a bookish boy of 13, is startled by an urgent knock on the window of his sleep-out. His visitor is Jasper Jones, an outcast in the regional mining town of Corrigan. Rebellious, mixed-race and solitary, Jasper is a distant figure of danger and intrigue for Charlie. So when Jasper begs for his help, Charlie eagerly steels into the night by his side, afraid but desperate to impress.

Jasper takes him through town and to his secret glade in the bush, and it’s here that Charlie bears witness to Jasper’s horrible discovery. With this secret like a brick in his belly, Charlie is pushed and pulled by a town closing in on itself in fear and suspicion. In the simmering summer where everything changes, Charlie learns to discern truth from myth and why the truth of things is so hard to know, and even harder to hold in his heart. 

More often than not, small town fiction seems to work. There is something about the dynamics of a small community that rattles our literary cage; that is certainly true with our group anyway! Want to learn more? Join us at Over the Fence for our full review.