Returning to the roots of his early fiction, Terry Kay masterfully re-creates life in the rural South following World War II, when men and women returned from the war deeply affected – consciously and subconsciously – by their experiences.
The Runaway is the novel Terry Kay has wanted to write his entire career: the story of the earliest beginnings of desegregation in the South. Set in the 1940’s and using as a springboard the relationship of two boys – one black and the other white –who have been mysteriously ordained at birth to spark the flames of change. The Runawayexamines the joys, sorrows, conflicts, and racial disharmony of their historically biased environment.
Tom and Son Jesus spend their days daydreaming, fishing, and trying to escape work. But their fun abruptly comes to a halt when they discover a bone during a fanciful runaway. The bone turns out to be part of the skeletal remains of Son Jesus’ long-missing father, and leads to an investigation by Sherriff Frank Rucker, a World War II hero, that unmasks the racially motivated killer known only as Pegleg. The sheriff’s findings divide the people of Overton County, forcing a surprising conclusion – or beginning –of justice.