In 1977, a young woman swipes a duffel bag of drug money and flees her bad-news boyfriend, hitching a ride with a long-haul trucker who points out satellites and enthuses about the future of space cargo. Building a life disconnected from her past, she assumes a new identity as Dawn Taylor, but thirty years later, running a roadside motel on a remote highway, Dawn will host a group of disparate individuals—all desperate to rewrite their own stories.
Brody seeks escape from those intent on repeating the narrative of his childhood trauma. Cheryl, whose career as a filmmaker is being dismantled on social media, rushes to rescue her daughter from a vicious cycle. And Spencer, an ex-con with easy access to his criminal past, chases an elusive redemption after seeing a picture of Dawn on a tourism website.
In We All Will Be Received, Leslie Vryenhoek offers a range of unforgettable characters—all hoping to reconstruct a truth that’s been shattered by perspective—and asks whether anyone can find peace or atonement in a contemporary world where technology makes the past ever present.
"If the title of Leslie Vryenhoek’s latest novel reminds you of Paul Simon’s song Graceland, that could be by design, for there are several characters looking for Graceland (although it’s a very different one from Elvis’ mansion). Their stories are told in separate threads that eventually merge to a climactic finish at Graceland, a renovated motel in Newfoundland, near the L’anse aux Meadows National Historic Site... If you like stories that at first glance appear to have no common thread, then We All Will Be Received is a book you will definitely enjoy and receive much reading pleasure from. Breakwater Books produces some of the best contemporary fiction on the East Coast, and this book well represents the genre."
"With her second novel, Leslie Vryenhoek has crafted a page-turning thriller, entangling four characters, shifting between timelines of the 1970s, 1980s and close to present day. Their motives are specific to their backgrounds and experiences, but together they are on the run, from their pasts and their choices, the consequences of which are increasingly embedded in social media... Vryenhoek is also a poet, and that discipline shows in the descriptive precision of her writing ('a murmle of voices'; 'He’s never understood it, the body’s reaction to cold, how fast it moves to jettison appendages'). The rest is pure plot adrenalin."
"This novel starts off gritty and nail-biting, Bonnie and Clyde meets Goin’ Down The Road and it doesn’t let up. Even once you’ve read the last page, you’re still enthralled and you’re still right there, in the refurbished Graceland Inn, hoping there’s more book to read because you’re not ready to say goodbye to the characters... What extraordinary prose, so fine, so sculpted. I loved the complexity of the characters and the scope of the story. In a way, it rings similar to The Irishman by Martin Scorsese where the sins of the past complicate the relations of the present and cannot help but surface to an action-packed climax. I loved the timeline of this book, how the plot wove back and forth and looped seamlessly to gather up the lives of many. The characters were written with a beautiful subtlety that carried vivid poignancies which spoke volumes."
"...this is a superlative novel."