Ben's Reviews > Empire Falls
by Richard Russo
by Richard Russo
Empire Falls - Pulitzer 2002 - I am a huge fan of Richard Russo and have read every book both short and long he has written. Although Nobody's Fool, Mohawk and That Old Cape Magic are good books to read...this one is his opus and deserving of the Award in fact I have read ths 3 times. Russo often writes about the areas he is current in and currently he resides in Maine. Empire Falls is about a small town in Maine and the inner workings of a town that is struggling in the wake of factories closing. The owner of the factory was a man who spent a lot of time away - his wife, elderly now, is the last of the family and is used to having her own way in the town. She owns all the major building and many people. Miles Roby is a typical small town guy - his diner is in her building - his wife left him for an older man, his daughter a teenager who doesn't fit in and a cast of supporting characters. Russo is a master at creating his characters and making them believable. I grew up in a town not unlike Empire Falls - in fact Francine Whiting the old lady reminded me a lot of my own Great Grandmother - a benefactor of the town but vindictive when she needed to be. I know a lot of these characters personally - the high school sports star who becomes a cop but feels that Miles has looked down on him his son is dating Miles daughter "Tick". There are a few plot twists involving Miles mother and his own daughter - including a fairly significant event with one of her "friends". I loved the school principle that thinks he can solve 2 issues but putting two misfits together - they can be friends with each other - done and done! In short one of my all time favorite books.
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