Opioid, Indiana chronicles a week in the life of seventeen-year-old Riggle, an orphan living with his uncle in a nameless Indiana town he calls Opioid. He is not being ironic. He has just been suspended for a week thanks to a false accusation, though he doesn’t seem to mind. His uncle is missing and the rent is due on Friday. Peggy, his uncle’s girlfriend, tells him to look for the uncle so they don’t get evicted.
Thus begins his week of adventures that include getting a job, stealing a bike, and searching for his uncle all of it told with the wry wit of a natural-born storyteller. The days of the week are marked by his recounting his mother’s stories of how the days of the week. Her stories are original and unorthodox.
I loved Opioid, Indiana and didn’t want it to end. I want to hear more from Riggle. This kid has a philosophical frame of mind and likes to speculate and ponder the imponderables. He also is hilarious in describing Texas, his home state, and Indiana, his new state, one he declares is “mean” with cold. Riggle has experienced more than his share of loss, his father and mother are both dead and his former guardians shipped him off to Indiana, but he faces what is hard with equanimity and humor. Sometimes the humor is hiding the pain, but Riggle is not afraid to admit his pain. He just won’t live there.
Opioid, Indiana will be published on September 17th. I received an e-galley from the publisher through Edelweiss.