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It’s 1974 in DeKalb County, Illinois and the planets have failed to align for Roy Conlon. Widowed and broke, his eight-year-old son Eric is suddenly a mystery to him. The boy has become aware of a sky awhirl with stars and of the universe outside his small-Midwestern town. And as powerful forces pull Eric away, Roy’s efforts to hold onto his son are threatened by weakness, ...more
Paperback, 220 pages
Published November 15th 2012 by Switchgrass Books
(first published November 1st 2012)
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I've found that when the subject of a novel is a working-class, rural Midwestern family, the story either unfolds around a big picture rich in existential symbolism, or it takes the more modest approach where its sparse prose suggests stark realism, and bigger meanings just get in the way. In the former category, think, for example, of Jane Smiley's magnificent "A Thousand Acres." This honest, gritty, but understated novel by Kevin Cunningham fits more comfortably in the second category.
Roy, a f ...more
Roy, a f ...more
("Each asked these questions of the other. Roy in a conversation with himself, Eric from a deeper place that did not admit language, one receding even now, to be longed for anew in the distant future, when wisdom had proved to him the inadequacy of words, yet cheated him of the secret of saying the right ones.").
I'm bored, so I'm dropping this one early. I'm all for contemporary suburbia, but the lack of distinct plot that defines this story failed to grasp my attention. I still maintain that the physical design and graphics of this novel is fantastic, however.