The Year of the Sawdust Man
Eleven-year-old Nissa’s life has never been perfect. Living with her free-spirited mama in the small town of Harper, Louisiana, circa 1933, has led to lots of gossipy small talk and mean rumors. But now Mama is gone, leaving Nissa with her gentle father, and all the townsfolk can talk about is who she might have run off with.
Nissa’s memories of the Sundays her mama would come home smelling of sawdust lead her to suspect that some of the rumors are true. Did her mama run away with the Sawdust Man? And is she ever coming back?
Compassionate and poetic, The Year of the Sawdust Man is an insightful novel about grief and growth, “plumbing the depths of a painful situation to surface triumphantly with compassion and humor” (Publishers Weekly).
Like this book? Sign up for occasional updates
Praise and Prizes
“Prepare yourself for feisty eleven-year-old Nissa Bergen because she and her wayward mother, abandoned father, and the gossipy denizens of small-town Louisiana are about to invade your heart in a first novel that is entirely engaging, touching, and unfailingly entertaining. A. LaFaye is a writer to welcome—and cherish.”
“I read The Year of the Sawdust Man with the same sense of joy and wonder I felt many years ago when I finished a review copy of a first novel by an unknown author: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.”
“Beautifully written . . . This bittersweet, moving debut reveals a writer capable of plumbing the depths of a painful situation to surface triumphantly with compassion and humor.”
“A. LaFaye depicts complex characters with a sure hand, and this turbulent story joins Ruth White’s Belle Prater’s Boy as a cut above the rest.”