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The worlds of three women and the men they love come together in this novel of war and hurricanes, loss and renewal. Christiane, or Nana, reliving the past in her eighties, her granddaughter Angela, working at a Biloxi casino in her twenties, and their teenage friend Cam, the daughter of a Vietnamese shrimper, form a deep connection. As they face heartbreak, their bonds nurture and sustain them. Ordinary people impacted by the shifts of history—Come Landfall is a southern story with a global sensibility.
The Gulf Coast serves as more than just a setting—it is a character unto itself. With casinos lining one side of the highway, antebellum homes along the other, and a Vietnamese neighborhood up the road, here the old South collides with the new. From households along this stretch of US 90, lineages and emotional connections stretch all over the world.
Inspired by true events, Roy Hoffman’s novel has its seeds in the saga of his uncle, Maj. Roy Robinton, US Marine Corps, a WWII prisoner of war in the Philippines who disappeared as captive on a Japanese “hellship.” His young bride, back home, was ground down, waiting.
Christiane returns in her mind to the man she married at twenty-one—Rosey, a flyer with the Army Air Corps who was in the Philippines at the outbreak of WWII. Angela meets Frank, an airman at Keesler Air Force base who is proudly patriotic, deeply religious, and a student of weather. Cam falls in love with Joe, a Biloxi cop, and her own tumultuous story begins to interweave with that of Angela’s and Nana’s. What’s taken from Nana, Angela, and Cam (and so many others when storms make their landfall), what’s given back, and what’s kept forever sit at the heart of this
intimate yet expansive novel.
About the Author
Roy Hoffman is author of the novels Almost Family, winner of the Lillian Smith Award, and Chicken Dreaming Corn, endorsed by Harper Lee. He is the author of two essay collections, Back Home: Journeys Through Mobile and Alabama Afternoons: Profiles and Conversations. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, Fortune, Southern Living, and the Mobile Press-Register, where he was a long-time staff writer. A graduate of Tulane, he received the 2008 Clarence Cason Award from the University of Alabama’s College of Communication and Information Sciences. He teaches for Spalding University’s brief-residency MFA in Writing Program.
"Hoffman's generation-spanning novel of love, war, and hurricanes brings the Mississippi Gulf Coast vividly to life."
A novel of war, women, and weather, Roy Hoffman's Come Landfall is, above all, a book of passionate and permanent connecting. It will seize your heart and not let go. When the reader counts the cost, this idea is inevitable: aging and accident are adversary enough—surely humans today can find a better solution to differences than killing each other in wars.
—Sena Jeter Naslund, author of Ahab's Wife and The Fountain of St. James Court; or, Portrait of the Artist as an Old Woman
“This powerful novel of love and loss is Roy Hoffman at his finest. First as a journalist, and now as a consummate writer of fiction, he has sketched the life of his native South in colors more vivid than black and white. Against the backdrop of three American wars, Hoffman writes of immigrants new to our shores, and wounds and memories that all of us share. The compelling characters of Come Landfall lead us—painfully, often bravely—through the haunted geography of the heart.”
—Frye Gaillard, author of The Books That Mattered: A Reader’s Memoir and Alabama’s Civil Rights Trail: An Illustrated Guide to the Cradle of Freedom
"Roy Hoffman uses his rich cast of characters to illustrate the diversity of the modern, multiethnic South; but Hoffman's Gulf Coast is also a place where traditionalists and newcomers alike find their lives framed by the region's timeless themes of war and loss, love and alienation, sin and redemption, and of course, by hurricanes from the Gulf of Mexico and from within the southern heart."
—Howell Raines, author of Fly Fishing Through the Midlife Crisis and My Soul Is Rested: Movement Days in the Deep South Remembered
"In this love story reminiscent of Water for Elephants, Roy Hoffman has brought to life a community of vibrant, life-loving women. These are women who reside in the margins, like the women we pass every single day as we go about the business of living. Come Landfall beautifully highlights the tensions that comes with caring for the aged and the heaviness of that responsibility upon the young. The hopes and heartaches of Angela, Cam, and Nana are riveting and compelling in every way."
—Karen Zacharias, author of After the Flag Has Been Folded and Mother of Rain