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American Sycamore

liked it 3.0  ·  Rating Details ·  2 Ratings  ·  0 Reviews
Alternate Cover edition for 1781721173 (ISBN13: 9781781721179)

American Sycamore is an off-beat, quirky novel about a bunch of losers and floaters by a riverscape.

What starts out as a fishing frolic along the Susquehanna River flows into something more sinister when Billy Sycamore encounters a stranger in the woods.

In the spirit of Richard Brautigan's Trout Fishing in Ame
Paperback, 192 pages
Published March 15th 2014 by Seren Books (first published March 1st 2014)
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Dana Micheli
Feb 06, 2014 Dana Micheli rated it it was amazing
It is a rare pleasure to be completely immersed in a book--when a writer is able to engage all five senses so the reader feels like they are truly there. That's what Karen Fielding did when she created the beautiful, tragic world of American Sycamore.

Fielding's prose is achingly beautiful, with descriptions of nature so vivid it reminded me of Alice Hoffman. With every page of American Sycamore, I could smell the brackish odor of the Susquehanna River, feel the desolation of walking along it on
Bhaskar Krag
Nov 12, 2014 Bhaskar Krag rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book. Always alive perceptive language, poignant with every descriptive narrative twist. Did I say twist, yes, every sentence loops and zags hither and yon it seems, comments deeply on the culture in America in the 70s. Not simple. A brother and a sister in a family in a town in a time in a country, with mental illness and mysteries, native American, post slave America, and Republicans and Democrats and fishing, and a bit of war. Perhaps from a wise naive teenage girl's ...more
Jan 17, 2014 Heather rated it it was amazing
American Sycamore by Karen Fielding is a good read from start to finish and hard to put down. Quirky characters and strange situations illuminate the path as we follow Billy Sycamore on his journey downriver to face his own particular heart of darkness.
Sep 08, 2016 TrudyAn rated it really liked it
I received this book as a giveaway from First Reads.

This is a woeful tale about a sister/brother bond, angst, intrigue, and tragedy. The book consists of a series of snapshots from the preteen and teenage years of Alice and her older brother, Billy, in small town Pennsylvania in the early 1970s. Billy lives close to the land and the river and the community's ties to its Aboriginal roots. Woven into the tale are other dysfunctional members of the family and the community. Billy and his deepening
Andy Weston
Oct 19, 2014 Andy Weston rated it it was amazing
It should be too much to expect that a novel with the subject matter of child abuse and mental illness should be entertaining, but Fielding manages to make it so.

American Sycamore is the story of two siblings of the Sycamore family, but particularly of Billy, and is told by his sister. Giving nothing away about the book, an incident in Billy's childhood changes his life forever.

Fielding uses short chapters, many of which tell a short story of their own about world that Billy grows into and exp
Susan Westergaard
Aug 05, 2014 Susan Westergaard rated it it was amazing
From the moment you start reading you are immersed in both the physical & physiological world of Alice, & through her that of her brother Billy. It's visual, it smells, you feel it, you can taste it. You come to grips with it in just the same way as you get to know a person.
It's poetic, mysterious & magical, but also real & absolutely true.
It's one of the best books I have read in ages
Faye Ridpath
Apr 20, 2014 Faye Ridpath rated it it was amazing
Even though the subject matter of this book is very serious, Alice Sycamore's commentary is very funny.

I loved her take on things.

I really enjoyed this book, so much that I finished it in one day.
Oct 18, 2015 Nan rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly enjoyed the book. Kept me reading to see how Billy would handle what life threw at him. Loved the description of the setting along the Susquehanna River.

Sally Balboa
Apr 13, 2014 Sally Balboa rated it it was amazing
American Sycamore is by no means going to be a classic, it will likely never be taught in a classroom. It should be read though, at least once. The author writes with a haunting voice, that chills you to the bone; when you hear of Billy’s struggles and you watch his family go through them.
The story is set in a small town and we join Billy and his sister from a young age and watch them grow up. Going down their respective paths, but as we find out some paths are chosen for us. Billy is a prime ex
Louise Self
Jun 21, 2014 Louise Self rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won this on Goodreads giveaway.

This story is like riding a river, the scenery is beautiful, the story twists and turns and all the characters as troubled as they are bring something out of left field and although it ended a bit too abruptly for me, I loved this.
Mar 18, 2015 Judith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Original, well-written, funny in parts - I really enjoyed it, though for me, Part I was by far the best part.
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Karen Fielding has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Journalism from Boston University and an MA in Creative Writing from Goldsmith's College. The chapter "City of Brotherly of Love" was published in "Lost on Purpose" by Seal Press and the first five chapters published in an anthology called "Goldfish" from Goldsmith's College for the best writing in the last five years. Fielding's poetry has ...more
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