Chevy in the Hole: A Novel (Hardcover)
A gorgeous, unflinching love letter to Flint, Michigan, and the resilience of its people, Chevy in the Hole follows multiple generations of two families making their homes there, with a stunning contemporary love story at its center.
In the opening pages of Chevy in the Hole, August “Gus” Molloy has just overdosed in a bathroom stall of the Detroit farm-to-table restaurant where he works. Shortly after, he packs it in and returns home to his family in Flint. This latest slip and recommitment to sobriety doesn’t feel too terribly different from the others, until Gus meets Monae, an urban farmer trying to coax a tenuous rebirth from the city’s damaged land. Through her eyes, he sees what might be possible in a city everyone else seems to have forgotten or, worse, given up on. But as they begin dreaming up an oasis together, even the most essential resources can’t be counted on.
Woven throughout their story are the stories of their families—Gus’s white and Monae’s Black—members of which have had their own triumphs and devastating setbacks trying to survive and thrive in Flint. A novel about the things that change over time and the things that don’t, Chevy in the Hole reminds us again and again what people need from one another and from the city they call home.
About the Author
Kelsey Ronan grew up in Flint, Michigan. Her work has appeared in Lit Hub, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Kenyon Review and elsewhere. She lives in Detroit and teaches for InsideOut Literary Arts. Chevy in the Hole is her first novel.
Advance Praise for CHEVY IN THE HOLE
“Kelsey Ronan is a storyteller of extraordinary wisdom and empathy, devoted to rendering fully the lives of these remarkable characters—their complexities and frailties, their unexpected kindnesses and terrible mistakes, their resilience in the face of nearly insurmountable obstacles. Grace-filled and elegant, Chevy in the Hole is a testament to the long reach of history, and family, and the salvific power of love. What a joy and honor to read a debut novel of such beauty and reach, one that so gloriously bears witness to the stories of a place and its people.”
—Elizabeth Wetmore, New York Times bestselling author of Valentine
“Chevy in the Hole is undoubtedly a Flint love story, but only for those willing to acknowledge love for what it is: an act of endurance that's often painful, sometimes destructive, and absolutely necessary for survival. Like the city itself, August and Monae struggle to reconcile what they've inherited with what they are, and Kelsey Ronan has the grace to make us understand their fumbles and believe in their restoration.”
—Xhenet Aliu, author of Brass
“Kelsey Ronan is an extraordinary writer -- incisive, compassionate, and surprising -- and her debut novel, Chevy in the Hole, is a fierce and epic examination of the meaning of home, family and the relationships we cherish the most. An unforgettable book by a writer who, lucky for us, is just getting started.”
—Molly Antopol, author of The UnAmericans
“Like the most exciting love stories, Kelsey Ronan’s Chevy in the Hole is a challenge. While the central love story between Gus and Monae is filled with an exquisite push and pull, this book becomes electric because of the romance between Kelsey Ronan and Flint. She makes a city that has so often been made flat by the world around it alive and filled with the potholes and gardens and people that make it, despite all its traumas, bloom.”
—Megan Giddings, author of Lakewood
“Profoundly honest and stunning in scope, Chevy in the Hole is a beautifully written reminder of community strength in the face of extraordinary change. Kelsey Ronan’s voice is simply unforgettable and this debut, an absolute must-read.”
—P. J. Vernon, author of Bath Haus
“Chevy in the Hole is not only about falling in love in a city in crisis, but a love story for the city itself—its haunted past, its yet-to-be-written future, and, most of all, its people. Written with uncommon depth, humor, and generosity of spirit, this is just an extraordinarily good novel. I missed it when it was over.”
—Anna Clark, author of The Poisoned City: Flint's Water and the American Urban Tragedy