Ardor: A Novel

Ardor: A Novel

by James Ladd Thomas


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Balancing lovers, family tragedy and personal angst, a young Southern woman seeks answers and experience from life in James Ladd Thomas's novel Ardor. This young woman takes life head-on in her hometown of Huntsville, Alabama, as she balances both male and female lovers, some nearly twice her age, and confronts family tragedy and her own personal growth. As with many coming of age stories, Ardor confronts an emotional loss, the death of her brother, which complicates her journey for answers and maturity. In the manner of Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio and Jennifer Egan's A Visit from the Goon Squad, Thomas's novel functions as a tightly-connected series of vignettes that follow Ardor's main conflict with her surrounding world. Her road to maturity and acceptance is populated with distinct personalities, including her amorous great-aunt Josie who resides at a nursing home, 82-year-old Buster with his zest for life, and her earnest best friend, Tracey. Her polyamorous lifestyle includes girlfriend Phaedra, who also has a partner of her own; Lew, the married art instructor boyfriend 20 years her senior; and Wade, a boyfriend with whom she shares a home. This piquant Southern tale reveals an ambivalent young woman between the ages of 18 to 23 with rapier wit and acid humor as she confronts and struggles her way through the travails that beset her. Whether waiting tables at a strip joint, fending off a lustful bartender or schooling her classmates on the gender wars of sexuality, the young Southerner is fearless on her road to understanding. As a rebel, a bohemian, and an intelligent young woman, she will have to summon all her Deep South grit to understand a world that may be polite in its appearance, but finds her unapologetic independence and passion for justice a disdainful betrayal. Filled with comedic, caustic characters, Ardor brings the crossroads of the New South into this Bildungsroman about one unforgettable young woman.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781477682920
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 08/31/2012
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.58(d)

About the Author

James Ladd Thomas was born and raised in Alabama, taking residence in Dothan, Prattville, Huntsville, Tuscaloosa, and Auburn, earning degrees at the University of Alabama and Auburn University. He has published short stories in several journals, including Berkeley Fiction Review, Hawaii Review, RE:AL, and Southern Exposure. A Pushcart and Best New Voices in America nominee, he has attended Bread Loaf, Sewanee, and Southampton writers' conferences where he studied with Barry Lopez, Thomas Mallon, Richard Bausch, Jill McCorkle, and Melissa Bank. He currently resides and works in Central Florida with his wife, Trish; his daughter, Anna; son, Jackson; four cats; three raccoons; one possum; lots of bats; and a large animal that is living under his house. Ardor is his first novel.

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