Tuesday, April 28, 2009

American Salvage

Author: Bonnie Jo Campbell

First line: The mother jiggles her key in the ancient lock, nudges open the heavy oak door with her shoulder, and then freezes on the threshold.

Why you should read this book: Moving through these fourteen fine-hewn tales, a cast of alcoholics, meth addicts, bruised men, and long-suffering women surprise the reader with persistent hope in the face of blunt reality's repeated blows. Death by homemade scuba gear, Y2K paranoia, and a bedroom wall full of honeybees on a deteriorating property haunted by a stunning but elusive orange snake illustrate the journeys made by individuals clinging to love in salvage yards and garden shops and local bars. This book speaks of hard, raw truths, but handles tenderly the foibles and weakness of those who forge on beyond painful revelation.

Why you shouldn't read this book: You don't want to read a selection of great stories about interesting people surviving tragedy.

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