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The Floor of the Sky (Flyover Fiction)

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The Floor of the Sky (Flyover Fiction) Cover

ISBN13: 9780803276314
ISBN10: 0803276311
Condition: Standard
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From the Flyover Fiction series

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2006 Holiday Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection

"Playwright Joern’s characters are as stern as the land, and the world of her debut novel is sturdy and memorable."—Publishers Weekly.

“[An] emotionally rich first novel about an unwed pregnant teen spending the summer with her grandmother in the hardscrabble Nebraska Sandhills. . . . [H]er visit stirs up long-simmering tensions for Toby, Toby’s bitter sister Gertie and George, who has worked on the farm for more than 50 years. Seventy-two and long widowed, Toby is no fawning grandma. Tough but loving, she still rides her horse regularly and can work up a man’s passions. . . . [George’s] unspoken love makes for irresistible reading. . . . [T]hink Paul Newman with Joanne Woodward. . . . A resonant love story, whatever the age of the lovers.”—Kirkus Reviews.

“First novelist Joern is particularly skilled at depicting contemporary small-town life and the issues rural communities face: the difficulty small farmers and ranchers have staying afloat financially and the decision of younger generations either to leave for urban areas or to endure directionless lives. She packs a lot of story into 250 pages. . . . Essential for rural and regional public libraries." —Library Journal.

“Joern intricately weaves together a compelling family saga and a beautifully rendered paean to the land her characters love and are struggling to preserve. . . . Joern's lyrical and painterly descriptions of the vast Sandhills are the perfect backdrop for this subtle drama.”—Booklist.

“A testimony to the power of family secrets and the enduring legacy of the land.”—Mary Clearman Blew, author of Balsamroot: A Memoir

“Pamela Carter Joern writes with compassion and a wry sense of humor, in a direct and true style that takes in the vivid details of the world of the Nebraska Sandhills and the complexities and nuances of her characters’ inner lives. Her work may bring to mind the novels of Kent Haruf and Larry McMurtry—though, like the fiercely independent women that populate her novel, Joern is clearly an original!”—Dan Chaon, author of You Remind Me of Me

“[Joern’s] characters are sensible, endearing, and deeply haunted, and there’s enough story and intrigue for ten novels. Secrets, old and new, keep the past constantly bumping into the present, making for a mesmerizing family saga.”—Timothy Schaffert, author of The Singing and Dancing Daughters of God

“[Joern] is a fearless teller of hard truth. Set in the Sandhills of Nebraska, The Floor of the Sky is a tale of quiet heroics, a story of tenacity and courage, an intimate glimpse into the lives of independent ranchers determined to survive. A powerful portrayal of family, land, and loyalty. We are the wiser for having read it.”—Sheila O’Connor, author of Where No Gods Came and Tokens of Grace

In the Nebraska Sandhills, nothing is more sacred than the bond of family and land—and nothing is more capable of causing deep wounds. In Pamela Carter Joern's riveting novel The Floor of the Sky, Toby Jenkins, an aging widow, is on the verge of losing her family's ranch when her granddaughter Lila—a city girl, sixteen and pregnant—shows up for the summer. While facing painful decisions about her future, Lila uncovers festering secrets about her grandmother's past—discoveries that spur Toby to reconsider the ambiguous ties she holds to her embittered sister Gertie, her loyal ranch hand George, her not-so-sympathetic daughter Nola Jean, and ultimately, herself.

Propelled by stark realism in breakneck prose, The Floor of the Sky reveals the inner worlds of characters isolated by geography and habit. Set against the sweeping changes in rural America—from the onslaught of corporate agribusiness to the pressures exerted by superstores on small towns—Joern's compelling story bears witness to the fortitude and hard-won wisdom of people whose lives have been forged by devotion to the land.

Pamela Carter Joern is a widely published author whose work has appeared in South Dakota Review, Red Rock Review, Feminist Studies, and Minnesota Monthly. She is also the author of five professionally produced plays, the winner of a Tamarack Award in 2001, and the recipient of a Minnesota State Arts Board writing fellowship.

Also available from the Flyover Fiction series: Tin God by Terese Svoboda

Review:

"Toby Jenkins, now 72, has been living all her life in the same ornate Sears, Roebuck farmhouse in the Nebraska Sandhills her father bought for her mother back in 1920. For now, Toby aims to stay there with her cranky self-righteous sister, Gertie, despite the local weasel banker's pressure to sell. Toby is widowed, resolute and land-scarred; a string of family deaths, tragedies and abandonments have left Toby and Gertie with no one to pass the place on to. Then Toby's 16-year-old pregnant granddaughter, Lila, arrives from Minneapolis. At first the unloved, metal-studded Lila, the child of Toby's adoptive daughter, a bitter airline stewardess, is surly and ungrateful, but eventually her curiosity about country rituals and her grandmother's life leads her to the family cemetery and to archives harboring long-buried family secrets. Playwright Joern's characters are as stern as the land, and the world of her debut novel is sturdy and memorable. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

In the Nebraska Sandhills, nothing is more sacred than the bond of family and land—and nothing is more capable of causing deep wounds. In Pamela Carter Joern's riveting novel The Floor of the Sky, Toby Jenkins, an aging widow, is on the verge of losing her family's ranch when her granddaughter Lila—a city girl, sixteen and pregnant—shows up for the summer. While facing painful decisions about her future, Lila uncovers festering secrets about her grandmother's past—discoveries that spur Toby to reconsider the ambiguous ties she holds to her embittered sister Gertie, her loyal ranch hand George, her not-so-sympathetic daughter Nola Jean, and ultimately, herself.
 
Propelled by stark realism in breakneck prose, The Floor of the Sky reveals the inner worlds of characters isolated by geography and habit. Set against the sweeping changes in rural America—from the onslaught of corporate agribusiness to the pressures exerted by superstores on small towns—Joern's compelling story bears witness to the fortitude and hard-won wisdom of people whose lives have been forged by devotion to the land.

About the Author

Pamela Carter Joern is a widely published author whose work has appeared in South Dakota Review, Red Rock Review, Feminist Studies, and Minnesota Monthly. She is also the author of five professionally produced plays, the winner of a Tamarack Award in 2001, and the recipient of a Minnesota State Arts Board writing fellowship.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Bookwomyn, April 13, 2009 (view all comments by Bookwomyn)
I agree with the other reviewer ... this book was wonderful. I so appreciate intelligent writers and Joern has done a great job of telling an inter-generational story with all the angst, joy and love that abounds in families.
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(3 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)
Ellen T. , March 28, 2007 (view all comments by Ellen T. )
The "Floor of the Sky" is a beautiful and captivating read, full of struggle, secrets and ultimately, survival. Joern's characters will have you cheering and jeering. They are everybody's family, with bonds that seem eerily familiar.

Seamlessly piecing together, bit by bit, the many jagged parts that connect the generations, Joern reveals how vital the past is to understanding who we are now.

"The Floor of the Sky" will change the way you look at the bonds in your own life, and challenge you to see past the apparent to the possible.

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(5 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780803276314
Author:
Joern, Pamela Carter
Publisher:
Bison Books
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Grandmothers
Subject:
Nebraska
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series:
Flyover Fiction
Publication Date:
20060931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
244
Dimensions:
8.5 x 5.5 in 0.65 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Floor of the Sky (Flyover Fiction) Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.95 In Stock
Product details 244 pages Bison Books - English 9780803276314 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Toby Jenkins, now 72, has been living all her life in the same ornate Sears, Roebuck farmhouse in the Nebraska Sandhills her father bought for her mother back in 1920. For now, Toby aims to stay there with her cranky self-righteous sister, Gertie, despite the local weasel banker's pressure to sell. Toby is widowed, resolute and land-scarred; a string of family deaths, tragedies and abandonments have left Toby and Gertie with no one to pass the place on to. Then Toby's 16-year-old pregnant granddaughter, Lila, arrives from Minneapolis. At first the unloved, metal-studded Lila, the child of Toby's adoptive daughter, a bitter airline stewardess, is surly and ungrateful, but eventually her curiosity about country rituals and her grandmother's life leads her to the family cemetery and to archives harboring long-buried family secrets. Playwright Joern's characters are as stern as the land, and the world of her debut novel is sturdy and memorable. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by ,
In the Nebraska Sandhills, nothing is more sacred than the bond of family and land—and nothing is more capable of causing deep wounds. In Pamela Carter Joern's riveting novel The Floor of the Sky, Toby Jenkins, an aging widow, is on the verge of losing her family's ranch when her granddaughter Lila—a city girl, sixteen and pregnant—shows up for the summer. While facing painful decisions about her future, Lila uncovers festering secrets about her grandmother's past—discoveries that spur Toby to reconsider the ambiguous ties she holds to her embittered sister Gertie, her loyal ranch hand George, her not-so-sympathetic daughter Nola Jean, and ultimately, herself.
 
Propelled by stark realism in breakneck prose, The Floor of the Sky reveals the inner worlds of characters isolated by geography and habit. Set against the sweeping changes in rural America—from the onslaught of corporate agribusiness to the pressures exerted by superstores on small towns—Joern's compelling story bears witness to the fortitude and hard-won wisdom of people whose lives have been forged by devotion to the land.
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