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Driftless

Driftless
Rhodes, David
Pgw
Publish date: 2009-05-01
$16.00
1571310681
Paperback

Synopsis:

With Driftless, Rhodes returns to the midwestern landscape he knows so well, offering a fascinating and entirely unsentimental portrait of a town apparently left behind by the march of timeHome to a few hundred people yet absent from state maps, Words, Wisconsin, comes richly to life by way of an extraordinary cast of charactersAmong them, a middle-aged couple guards the family farm from the mendacious schemes of their milk co-operative; a lifelong paraplegic suddenly regains the use of her legs, only to find herself crippled by fury at her sister and caretaker; a woman of conflicting impulses and pastor of the local Friends church stumble

Review:

For more literary fiction, my favorite of late has been Driftless by David Rhodes (Milkweed Editions.) The town of Words, Wisconsin is in the southeastern part of the stateIt is situated in a way that makes it on the way to nowhereThere are few in town who were not born thereOne of these is July Montgomery, who arbitrarily chose Words to end his wanderings twenty years ago, and has since worked a small farm and, as we see, has insinuated himself into the fabric of the communityAnother is a newly installed female pastor who experiences a puzzling moment of epiphanyAmong the natives are Olivia, a chronic invalid who begins to heal and expand her life with the help of an average juvenile delinquent; the Shotwells, middle age dairy farmers who take on the formidable corporate dairy "cooperative"; Rusty Smith, who hires an Amish man for an emergency home renovation projectDriftless is a testament to the satisfaction of a life well lived which, albeit a rural life, should be accessible to even the most cosmopolitan of readersOne is tempted to marginalize this book as a great Midwestern rural novel (as many reviewers have), but in fact it plumbs the humanity of the characters in a way that transcends the merely regionalI recommend it unconditionally.

   
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