Freshwater Boys

Adam Schuitema, Author
Adam Schuitema, Author . Delphinium $13.95 (240p) ISBN 978-1-883285-37-1
Reviewed on: 01/11/2010
Release date: 12/01/2010

Michigan native Schuitema explores the lakeside life of his home state with deep enthusiasm in this debut collection, candidly recounting the passage through childhood, youth, and adulthood. A variety of fears are laid out as his characters come into contact with several incarnations of the inscrutable, from the hermit of “New Era, Michigan,” who lives in a school bus in the woods, to the struggle in “The Lake Effect” of a man’s attempt to balance fatherhood, marriage, and work during a nasty blizzard. Intense attention to geographical detail is chief among Schuitema’s concerns, sometimes to the detriment of narrative structure; most of the stories end with an all too neat flourish. Still, the stories contain numerous moments of memorable, tension-filled sensual descriptions, as in the harrowing search for a missing boy in “Camouflage Fall,” where the “glacial residue glowing under a cool glacial moon” coupled with the notion that a “flashlight seemed like a thin dagger compared to the huge chunks of darkness” stand as one of the book’s many moments of crisp, effective prose. (Apr.)

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