66 pages 2 hours read

Ashley Flowers

All Good People Here

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2022

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The Secrets of Small Towns

Nearly all characters in All Good People Here harbor secrets. The novel concerns itself with the reasons people choose to keep those secrets, the effects of those secrets becoming known, and how far people will go to protect them.

Krissy and Billy Jacobs are the characters with the biggest secrets to keep, although their reasons for doing so are different. For years, Krissy believes her son, Jace, killed her daughter, January. After January’s death, Krissy cannot view Jace the same way, and she keeps him at arm’s length for much of her life. Nonetheless, her instinct the night of the murder is to protect her son. She covers up the crime, spray-painting a hateful message on their kitchen walls and making it look like an intruder killed January. She explains her feelings to Jace in a letter: “[E]verything I did that night [...] I did for you? To protect you. [...] It was the worst thing I’ve ever done, and I would do it again. For you” (200). In some ways, this is a testament to the love a mother has for her child. However, Krissy’s world shatters when she learns that Jace did not kill January, and that she pushed her son away and muddled the crime scene for no reason.