Critics have compared Sheri Holman to Charles Dickens and Barbara Kingsolver for her remarkable ability to limn the lives and communities of people and places, past and present, in vivid, clairvoyant detail. In Witches on the Road Tonight, her most ambitious novel, she takes readers deep into the backwoods of the Depression-era south, where dark folklore and witchcraft ignite imaginations, and brings us to contemporary New York, where fear has evolved into a very different kind of desired impulse.
As a child growing up in rural Virginia, Eddie Alley’s quiet life is rooted in the rumors of his mother’s sorcery. But when they’re visited by a writer and a glamourous photographer working for the WPA, the isolation and mystery borne from his mother’s unorthodox life are violently disrupted, and Eddie is inspired to pursue a future beyond the confines of his dead-end town. He leaves for New York and begins a career as Captain Casket, a television horror-movie presenter beloved for his kitschy comedy. Though an expert at softening terror for his young fans, Eddie himself is incapable of escaping the guilty secrets of his childhood. When he opens his family’s door to a homeless teenager working as an intern at his TV station, the boy’s presence not only awakens something in Eddie, but also in his twelve-year-old daughter, Wallis, who has begun to feel a strange kinship to her notorious grandmother. As the ghost stories of one generation infiltrate the next, Wallis and Eddie grapple with the sins of the past to repair their misguided attempts at both love and redemption.
In Witches on the Road Tonight, Sheri Holman teases out the dark compulsions and desperate longings that blur the line between love and betrayal. It is an unflinching story about the inheritance of family myths and our perpetual yearning to make sense of the past in our present.