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Light in August: 05/31/08
In William Faulkner's novels, the narration (method of story telling) is more the point than the narrative (the story). In Light in August, the story of Lena's search for her baby's father and Joe Christmas's tragic life is told through a series of oral histories.
Alysson Olivera in her review of Light in August focuses on the importance of memory in narration of the novel. As so much of the book is told as the sort of gossip you'd hear from friends and neighbors, most of the story is told in flashback. Each chapter builds as a separate but connected short story with the punchline in the last couple pages of the chapter being the thing that ties all the chapters together into a coherent narrative.
The book has strong Christian themes, much as the way that Steinbeck's East of Eden is based on the book of Genesis. Joe Christmas is an obvious Christ figure.
Of the William Faulkner books I've read, it was probably one of the most enjoyable ones. He's not a favorite author of mine. I find his experimentation with narration over focusing on building a strong narrative tiresome and often times counterproductive.