Correctional Officer Paul Constantine is plagued by an unfulfilled life. His wife is a drunk, and nothing he does can ever be right in the eyes of his father-in-law. When his childhood friend Roy Pellerin is brought into the prison where he works on the charge that he played a part in someone's murder, Roy does his best to ignore him. That is, until Roy, a former circus performer with snake-like skin, escapes the prison, forcing Paul to track him on a cross-country man hunt.
Set in 1879 South Carolina, Normal will have you question everything you've believed about judging others on the basis of how they look.
My Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
This book has everything a good book requires; smooth, engaging writing, a promising story-line that delivers, and characters that are well-developed.
As the story progresses, you really do get caught up in the live and sufferings of the characters. Especially Roy, as you see time and again the injustices he is forced to endure. You begin to root for him, even when in the beginning he was a character most would be unsure of.
This book, to me at least, was less a piece of fictional writing, and more of a testament to the human spirit. How we are able to bounce back time and again in the face of suffering. We pick ourselves up when the world strives to kick us down, and this element appears again and again through-out this story.
However, I found this book to be very hard to get into, to be honest. And some scenes were just not my cup of tea at all (for instance there is one graphic scene of a dog being drowned). This was a book that I had to keep putting down and walking away from, and while it was good when finished, it wasn't something I'd read again.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of Normal in exchange for my honest review. This has not reflected on my review in any way.

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