“Nobody would know me from my own description of myself; which is why, when called upon (rarely, I grant) to provide an account, I tailor it, I adapt, I try to provide an outline that can, in some way, correlate to the outline that people understand me to have -- that, I suppose, I actually have, at this point. But who I am in my head, very few people really get to see that. Almost none. It's the most precious gift I can give, to bring her out of hiding.”
Sometimes you begin a book, and you know after a few chapters that the book is "reading you" instead of you reading the book. It hits your core hard and churns stuff up, compelling you to turn pages. All That's Left to Tell is such a book, and it's Daniel Lowe's debut at that. From its first sentence to its last, it doesn't let go--making you question your own life and choices. Do we choose? Or does life choose for us?
Forty-two people were killed in the 1929 dance hall explosion in the fictional Ozark town of West Table, Missouri. Alma, a maid for one of West Table's richest families, knows just how it happened. For being such a slim book, Alma's story spans many decades, and weaves in numerous suspects; mobsters from St. Louis, persecuted local gypsies, or maybe an overzealous preacher. Alma’s memory of the event drifts in and out of focus as she ages, jumping back and forth in time, while either leading the reader to the culprit or describing another victim of the horrible explosion.