Book description, from the publisher’s website:
The Joyner family sits atop prime Marcellus Shale. When landmen for the natural gas companies begin to lease property all around the family’s hundred acres, the Joyners start to take notice. Undecided on whether or not to lease the family land, Frank Joyner must weigh his heirs’ competing motivations. All of this culminates as a looming history of family tragedy resurfaces.
A sprawling family novel, Fractures follows each Joyner as the controversial hydrofracking issue slowly exacerbates underlying passions and demons. With echoes of Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom, Fractures takes its reader deep into the beating heart and hearth of a family divided.
“On an April day in 1970, when most of his fellow architecture students were taking their spring break, Frank Joyner drew a Gillette razor blade across his left wrist with one express purpose in mind: he wanted to see if, when the blood appeared, he was willing to let it flow, or if, in fact, he wanted to live. On hand he had a stack of gauze pads, an Ace bandage, and a leather belt he’d tested on his forearm and then punched a new hole in that could serve as a tourniquet. In an anatomy book he’d checked out of the library, he’d read that the veins running down his wrist would yield, if cut, a dark blood, which would only ooze out, and that gauze pressed down beneath an Ace bandage would be sufficient to stop it. Flanking the veins and deeper set were the radial and ulnar arteries, and these would yield a bright red blood in a pulsating flow, which would take a tourniquet, in addition to the gauze and bandage, to stop. The arteries brought blood from the heart, oxygenated to that brighter red as it passed through the lungs; after its long, wearying trip through the body, the veins brought the blood back.
He’d intended to cut to the deeper and thicker-walled arteries, so that he would know, know for sure, but had in fact cut only to the depth of the veins, which had yielded a slow, blanketing flow more plum-colored than red, and which he’d contemplated for a while—impossible to say how long—before sighing deeply and applying the gauze and Ace bandage. He was twenty years old. Of course, he accused himself of cowardice in not cutting deeply enough to reach the arteries, but he also commended himself for not wasting time. He didn’t need the brighter, more youthful blood to tell him what the darker, more traveled blood had already made clear. He wanted to live.”