Although he vows never to return to Greene County, Grant Hicks, the protagonist of “Pain Unforgiven” does just that in this novel of self discovery and forgiveness. Hicks is a 37-year-old partner in an Atlanta law firm who has managed to escape the painful memories of his hometown. An unexpected phone call lures him back to fulfill a dying friend’s desire for the pain of others to be released.
The book’s author, Mississippi Supreme Court Associate Justice Randy Pierce, is making the book-signing rounds of state bookstores. At Bay Books in Bay St. Louis, owner Jeremy Burke says the shop was packed on a 95-degree Saturday. “Some people who already had the book came by to see him,” Burke said. “We sold more of his books than we’ve sold for any book signing, and we’ve had quite a few.”
Burke is amazed at how good this debut novel is. “I loved the book,” he said. “The main character wanted to get away from his hometown where everyone knows everything about everyone. How many people think of doing that? That’s why I could relate to it. This character could be from anywhere in Mississippi.”
Hicks, the character, must deal with the estrangement of his father who wouldn’t defend a high school friend wrongly accused of a crime. The friend served time and is at home dying. Through lovable characters and unexpected twists of events, Hicks and the place he calls home are finally able to confront the painful past.
“No character is intended to portray any individual I knew,” Pierce said. “Basing a character solely on one person is not something I intended to do when I began writing the book. I believe most authors feel the same way.”
However, Pierce does hail from Greene County and attended the public schools there. “Home is home, no matter how you grew up or how far you traveled to get away from it,” he said.
After earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Southern Mississippi, Pierce graduated from the University of Mississippi Law School. He is a CPA and served in the Mississippi House of Representatives and as a Chancery Court judge.