The Tilted World by Tom Franklin
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Historical fiction/romance set during Prohibition and the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927.
We have two stories that eventually intertwine: Dixie Clay (yes, that's really her name) married Jesse when she was really quite young, a marriage that isn't as satisfying as it could/should be as Jesse's a moonshiner and spends much time away from the house on "business" (which also includes time with women in whorehouses), and Ingersoll, a federal agent looking for moonshiners. We get their backstories as well as their present time, with Ingersoll looking for two agents who may have been killed and Dixie continuing to make some of the best moonshine around. Their first meeting comes about when Ingersoll and his partner Ham find a newly orphaned baby and (via a story twist) Ingersoll brings it to Dixie (who lost her son a year or so ago).
The description of what life must have been like at that time, fighting to keep your home with the threat of flood a constant (not to mention the endless, oppressive rain), was interesting. The methods used to battle the flood and the crest don't seem that removed from what we see today when there are major floods. Dixie's moonshining was also an interesting look at the process - her tweaks and flavors made what she was doing seem somehow less illegal and more experimental.
But ultimately it was the overwriting and the romance that didn't work for me. Sentences that could have been pared down were left filled with adjectives, and I didn't care enough about the characters for their relationships to matter to me.
ARC provided by publisher.