CE Morgan - All The Living (3 stars)

CE Morgan - All The Living

(Fourth Estate)


Focused on the life of young country girl, Aloma, All the Living is a melancholy depiction of love and family in an oddly timeless and isolated Kentucky farm. CE Morgan’s prose avoids grand descriptions that may befit the epic mountain landscape, instead she favours the small scale emotive thought process of Aloma who finds herself trapped between her uncommunicative farmer boyfriend, and the interest of the local preacher. There isn’t much exciting action to be found, (church and chickens feature a lot) but underneath the surface is a tale of morality and understanding that creates a subtle parable of a good-hearted girl afraid to follow the wrong path.

Morgan, who studied theology at Harvard, thankfully refrains from a heavy-handed approach and renders the characters as honest and ambiguous. The story may lack a certain romantic impact for some readers, but nonetheless All the Living is sweetly haunting.

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