Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

David Bell (Director), Wes Berry, Dale Rigby

Degree Program

Department of English

Degree Type

Master of Arts


This is a coming of age story about two very different boys – Jason, a Northerner who ends up stuck in a small Southern town and Billy, a Southern boy with an abusive father. The boys become friends and grow up learning the dark secrets that are allowed to fester in a tiny southern town ruled by the Good Ol’ Boy System of justice. The story chronicles how their shared experiences change them in ways they never imagined and ultimately destroys their friendship and their lives. Through a history of violence and prejudice, Billy and Jason learn who they really are and just how far they’re willing to go to get what they want. They discover the true meaning of strength and weakness and how to survive in a world where they don’t fit in. The story explores the issues of violence, drug abuse, and murder that often lie hidden beneath the façade of fanatic Christianity, propriety, and status in seemingly innocent, charming Southern towns.


English Language and Literature | Fiction | Literature in English, North America