Where Things Come Back

By John Corey Whaley


John Corey Whaley's "Where Things Come Back" follows an anxious teenager, Cullen Witter, living in the small Arkansas town of Lily. He is bored to tears during the summer before his senior year of college. Then, things start to get interesting. An ornithologist from someplace far away comes to town and claims to have seen a bird that has been long considered extinct near Lily, Arkansas. Then, almost overnight various restaurants and businesses begin to change their names to adhere to the elusive Lazurus Woodpecker. The hardworking people of Lily, Arkansas have something to be proud of in their boring little town. However, not all residents are dancing on clouds. Cullen dislikes the fact that all people care about is this dumb bird, and even worse, it distracts them all from the fact that his younger brother vanishes off the face of the earth. It becomes difficult for Cullen to live with all the anxiety he is feeling, until it is finally resolves. That may have something to do with the story of Cabot Searcy, an aspiring philosopher who travels to Lily not only to stalk his girlfriend but to continue his dead room mate's work searching for the origins of the Holy Bible