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Goner follows the lives of four sisters from a progressive household in the Deep South. The narrative begins with their northern mother's arrival in a Louisiana army town as a young newspaper reporter in 1943 and her hasty, unconsidered, marriage to a genteel older man. It follows the naive couple from their disastrous wedding night, to the birth of their first daughter on the same day their house is reclaimed by a returning G.I. The Sobrals migrate from Baton Rouge, to an isolated bayou plantation, and then on to a cotton town caught in the post war boom. Just before their fourth daughter is born, the Sobrals settle in BelleBend, a sleepy little town on the Mississippi River The Sobral sisters grow up listening to the haunting calls of riverboats and the rumbling of sugar cane trucks down the River Road; they attend BelleBend's black church, and endlessly speculate about the relationship between their beautiful, remote mother and kindly absent-minded father. The story follows the girls' childhood adventures--some hilarious and some breathtakingly dangerous--in a time and a place where adults pay little attention to the wanderings of children. Together, the Sobral daughters find Elvis, teen love, and come of age during the early civil rights movement. In their jasmine-scented isolation, the four sisters form a profound and enduring bond. Kennedy's assassination transforms their family in unforeseen ways. In 1980 the four sisters return to their River Road house for their heartbroken father's deathwatch. Their beloved and enigmatic mother has recently died. On their last night together, one of the sisters uncovers a devastating secret. Goner examines the ties between real and imagined lives, between character and narrator, and the entwined ways that a family survives by creating its own myth.

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