Synopses & Reviews
How does a librarian from New Jersey end up in a convenience store on Vancouver Island in the middle of the night, playing Bible Scrabble with a Korean physicist and a drunk priest? She gets married to the wrong man for starters — she didn't know he was 'that kind of Catholic' — and ends up in St. Cloud, Minnesota. She gets a job in a New Age bookstore, wanders toward Buddhism without realizing it, and acquires a dog. Things get complicated after that. Pattianne Anthony is less a thinker than a dreamer, and she finds out the hard way that she doesn't want a husband, much less a baby, and that getting out of a marriage is a lot harder than getting into it, especially when the landscape of the west becomes the voice of reason. A Small Crowd of Strangers, Joanna Rose's second novel, is part love story, part slightly sideways spiritual journey.
"If you've ever longed for the truth, but were afraid to face the reality of it...you'll love this fascinating cast of characters and the honesty, complexity and beauty of this captivating story." Anna Quinn, author of The Night Child
"As Pattianne ventures out, we witness her profound discoveries about love, family, faith, and the abiding strength of an eclectic community, and in this way Rose's novel becomes sweetly intimate, a joy to read." Debra Gwartney, author of I Am a Stranger Here Myself
"[A] generous, compassionate, and vivid world....An important meditation on how our supposed missteps often create as much life as they destroy, Pattianne's final destination rewards the reader as much as it does the character." Michelle Ruiz Keil, author of All of Us With Wings
"Joanna Rose's beautifully lyric novel is a gift: the work of a true story-teller. Her quiet, careful wonderment nourishes our souls." Paulann Petersen, Oregon Poet Laureate Emerita
"A tale of the impossibility of becoming someone that some else wishes you were (that you thought you could be), with an ending that is nothing but joyful." Whitney Otto, author of How to Make an American Quilt
About the Author
Joanna Rose is the author of the award-winning novel Little Miss Strange, which earned the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award. Other work has appeared in ZYZZYVA, Windfall Journal, Cloudbank, Artisan Journal, Northern Lights, Oregon Humanities, High Desert Journal, VoiceCatcher, and Bellingham Review. Her essay "That Thing With Feathers" was cited as Notable in 2015 Best American Essays. She established the Powell's Books reading series and curated it for fifteen years. She is an Atheneum Fellow in Poetry, and cohosts the prose critique group Pinewood Table. She also works with youth through Literary Arts' Writers in the Schools and with Young Musicians and Artists. She lives in Portland Oregon's urban southeast side with her husband and, at any given time, several dogs.