Juliet in August

Dianne Warren. Putnam/Amy Einhorn, $25.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-399-15799-8
Warren’s U.S. debut is a delicate exploration of the inner lives of the inhabitants of smalltown Juliet, Saskatchewan, located on the edge of a Canadian desert. Local banker Norval Birch is weighed down by a demanding wife, a pregnant teenage daughter staring down the barrel of a shotgun wedding, and a burdensome understanding of the townsfolk’s debts. Lee Torgeson, an adopted 26-year-old and reluctant rancher, struggles to come to terms with the land he has just inherited from his adoptive family, and the blank family history the vast expanse represents. Middle-aged and widowed, Marian lives with her brother-in-law, Willard, the quotidian talk between them suffused with unspoken affection that might revolutionize their relationship. Finally, haunted by the specter of poverty, Blaine and Vicki Dolson fight to maintain their marriage and the family farm, all the while caring for six kids. Though Warren attempts to meaningfully interweave these stories, she is too subtle, making the connections frustratingly opaque. Still, Warren clearly has an intimate understanding of smalltown life, and infuses Juliet with plenty of heart. Agent: Ron Eckel, Cooke International. (July 5)
Reviewed on: 05/14/2012
Release date: 07/05/2012
Open Ebook - 336 pages - 978-1-101-58730-0
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Hardcover - 501 pages - 978-1-4104-5652-6
Compact Disc - 978-1-4526-3823-2
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