Coal Run At first glance, O'Dell's characters seem plucked from central casting: Ivan, the football star who breaks a leg, loses his pro football contract, and slips… Coal Run At first glance, O'Dell's characters seem plucked from central casting: Ivan, the football star who breaks a leg, loses his pro football contract, and slips… 2004-06-17 Fiction
Book Review

Coal Run (2004)

EW's GRADE
A-

Details Release Date: Jun 17, 2004; Writer: Tawni O'Dell; Genre: Fiction

At first glance, O'Dell's characters seem plucked from central casting: Ivan, the football star who breaks a leg, loses his pro football contract, and slips into a life of boozing and drifting; Jolene, his waitress sister with three kids by three different men; Val, the embittered Vietnam vet. But O'Dell masterfully guides them through life in a downtrodden Pennsylvania coal-mining town. As Ivan, now a sheriff's deputy, waits for an old high school teammate to be released from prison, he confronts the secret that's long been tugging at his conscience. O'Dell has come a long way since her first novel, ''Back Roads,'' an Oprah pick; this is rich, compassionate storytelling.

Originally posted Jun 25, 2004 Published in issue #771-772 Jun 25, 2004 Order article reprints
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