Pulitzer-winner Schultz (for Life Happens ) delivers a sweeping, heartfelt tale that ranges from the mid-1940s through 1994 in Erietown, Ohio, and packs its plot with enough bitter pills to fill a Bruce Springsteen album. Farmers Ada and Wayne Fetters take in their seven-year-old granddaughter, Ellie. As teenagers, Ellie and Brick McGinty fall for each other, despite Ellie’s grandparents’ concern that Brick will turn out like his abusive father. Brick, though, wins a scholarship to Kent State, which would make him the first person in his family to attend college. Ellie’s dream, meanwhile, is to become a nurse, but fate intervenes, and she gets pregnant before they graduate from high school. Ellie and Brick elope, and Brick finds work at an electric plant while Ellie becomes a full-time mother to their daughter, Sam. After Ellie learns that Brick has been unfaithful, she threatens him with divorce, but remains determined to hold their family together. As a child, Sam is fully aware of the tension between her parents but unaware of her father’s infidelities until a visitor shows up at their home when she is 12. Schultz enlivens the narrative with sharp cultural commentary and precise period details. This story of family secrets rises above—and is tougher than—the rest. (June)
Reviewed on : 03/25/2020 Release date: 06/09/2020 Genre: Fiction
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