I just finished reading Very Old Bones by William Kennedy.
The man has a talent with language that I wouldn't associate with a journalist--but that's my bias speaking, not reality. The man won the Pulitzer Prize for his earlier novel Ironweed, so he clearly has the ability to turn a phrase.
Very Old Bones involves the Phelan family, and Francis, from Ironweed, makes a few appearances. The story is compelling, the language is great, the characters are vivid and flawed. This is a good read. It lacks the tight focus that made Ironweed so powerful, but it's easy to sit back and enjoy how Kennedy manipulates his material. And it's spurring me to better work on my own story, so I really appreciate it.
I might need to slow down the reading for a bit, though. I have too much work to do. Time to get at it.