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Other titles in the Flyover Fiction series:
Haven's Wake (Flyover Fiction)by Ladette Randolph
Synopses & Reviews
Young Harriets father sells her as a slave to settle his gambling debt with an eccentric Indian—and her story is just beginning. Part Huck Finn, part True Grit, Harriets story of her encounter with the dark and brutal history of the American West is a true original. When she escapes the strange mound-building obsession of her Pawnee captor, Harriet sets off on a trek to find her father, only to meet with ever-stranger characters and situations along the way. She befriends a Jewish prairie peddler, escapes with a chanteuse, is imprisoned in a stockade and rescued by a Civil War balloonist, and becomes an accidental shopkeeper and the surrogate mother to an abandoned child, while abetting the escape of runaway slaves.
A picaresque in the American vein, Terese Svobodas new novel is the Bohemian answer to Willa Cathers iconic My Ántonia. Lifting the shadows off an entire era of American history in one brave girls quest to discover who she is, Bohemian Girl gives full play to Svobodas prodigious talents for finding the dark and the strange in the sunny American story—and the beauty and the hope in its darkest moments.
"This second novel (after A Sandhills Ballad) from Ploughshares editor Randolph follows a Mennonite family in the days surrounding the death of its patriarch, Haven Grebel. Slowly paced and at times digressive, the novel generously renders the Grebel family even as it exposes their prejudices and failures. Haven's wife, Elsa, has managed her life with stern stoicism and, following the death of her larger-than-life husband, struggles to maintain harmony in the fractious family unit. Jonathan, the eldest son, has left the fold for life in Boston and his brother Jeffery is mired in depression. Haven's death, Jonathan's return, and the sharp curiosity of Jeffery's young daughter Anna June collude to upset Elsa's fiercely controlled borders. Inevitably, the Grebel family history is neither as clean or straightforward as it first appears; as the family grieves, darker turns in their shared past resurface and must be addressed. The novel is a touch uneven and drags in places, but Randolph is an excellent writer, telling the story with a frankness and humor that keeps it from sinking into melodrama. (Mar)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Early July, and the corn in eastern Nebraska stands ten feet tall; after a near-decade of drought, it seems too good to be true, and everyone is watching the sky for trouble. For the Grebels, whose plots of organic crops trace a modest patchwork among the vast fields of soybeans and corn, trouble arrives from a different quarter in the form of Elsas voice on her estranged sons answering machine: “Your fathers dead. Youll probably want to come home.”
When a tractor accident fells the patriarch of this Mennonite family, the threads holding them together are suddenly drawn taut, singing with the tensions of a lifetimes worth of love and faith, betrayal and shame. Through the competing voices of those gathered for Haven Grebels funeral, acts of loyalty and failures, long-suppressed resentments and a tragic secret are brought to light, expressing a larger, complex truth.
About the Author
Ladette Randolph is the editor-in-chief of Ploughshares magazine and is Distinguished Publisher-in-Residence at Emerson College. She is the award-winning author of A Sandhills Ballad (Nebraska, 2011) and This Is Not the Tropics and is the editor of two anthologies, including A Different Plain: Contemporary Nebraska Fiction Writers, both available in Bison Books editions. She is the recipient of the Pushcart Prize, a Rona Jaffe Foundation grant, four Nebraska Book Awards, and the Virginia Faulkner Award.
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