I just finished a lovely little book called All the Living written by C.E. Morgan. And while it’s true I picked it up initially because of the cover—it features a black and white landscape with a barn; I’m a sucker stories set on farms—I found the writing superb and the story satisfying.
A young woman moves to Kentucky to be with her bereaved lover who is left to manage his family’s tobacco farm. While he retreats into monosyllabic communication, Aloma dreams of returning to the piano; their days are fraught with friction: she’s waiting for a proposal while he exhausts himself trying to save the farm. Aloma’s friendship with a preacher makes things…interesting.
Plus, as The New Yorker review points out, the author uses rare words like “letheless” (forgetfulness) and “mortise” (cavity in a piece of wood) that require me to get the hefty dictionary. No lazy words here.