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Second Growth (Bison Book) by Wallace…

Second Growth (Bison Book)

by Wallace Stegner

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Lesser known title, but a favorite author so I took a shot. I was happily surprised at what a great story this is. It's one of his early novels, from 1947, the setting is northern New Hampshire. With a clearly appreciative nod to Thomas Hardy, a preface map of the 'town of Westwick' leads us into a jaunty stroll among the varied characters who live here - the ingrained locals and the summer visitors from Boston and NYC. Alternating chapters provide an intimate look into the lives of specific residents, all of whom have stories of hardship, dreams, prejudices, occupations. An enlivening device here is how they all intermingle and cross paths throughout, so that we get multiple perspectives. One set of characters is the Kaplans, jews who meet in Westwick, both of Eastern European stock. Ruth Kaplan is recently arrived from New York and yearns for classical music, a need sated by the summertime "concerts" via gramophone along the town lake. Another character is Andy, a sharp high-schooler who dares to break the reins of his guardian (and of the town) for college opportunities. As usual, Stegner is stylish and smart, a true legend. Very much enjoyed! ( )
  ThoughtPolice | May 3, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0803291574, Paperback)

A New England village, untouched by history since the American Revolution, is the unquiet arena containing, but just barely, the aloof natives and the summer residents. Their paths cross, happily or disastrously, in a book that seems too real to be fiction. As Wallace Stegner writes, the conflict on this particular frontier "has been reproduced in an endlessly changing pattern all over the United States."

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:04 -0400)

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