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High Strung : A Novel
by Quinn Dalton
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743470184, Hardcover)
Years after running away from America and the secrets surrounding her mother's death, Merle Winslow winds up editing low-end adult novels at X Publishing in West London. Paired with a diplomat's son who has a fondness for hash cigarettes and sex toys, she is, as she puts it, "underfed, sexually exhausted, pornographically overwhelmed."
But disappointment in love isn't the only thing that sends Merle back to the hometown she's tried for so long to forget. There is also her sneaking suspicion that she never really left her old life; she's simply dragged it along with her, "like an outfit that was ill-fitting and too revealing, but impossible to get rid of."
She lands in ratty temporary housing in Florence, Ohio, with no car, no phone, and no idea of what to do next. Worse, she's reminded at every turn of her own secretive youth and her mother's days as an accused Vietnam agitator -- a legacy that still haunts the town as well as their family. As she retraces the story of her parents' troubled marriage, Merle realizes disturbing new truths about her mother's life and discovers that her stodgy father might be falling in love after years of living alone.
She looks to her brother, Olin, for help. But he's shaky too, having abandoned a lucrative job marketing novelty meat thermometers for his aspirations in performance art. It's not until she finds herself believing in a local charter pilot's affections, a man who nurses a failing plane, that she lets go of the questions still resting on a dark curve of road in her heart.
In vivid cinematic prose, High Strung balances humor on the rough edge of loss, regret, and wounded family love. Through it all, Merle Winslow's wry but hopeful voice reminds us of how we tell ourselves the story of our lives, real and imagined. Her travels -- back to her hometown and through her family's past -- lead us to the crossroads of place and memory.
With this debut novel, award-winning writer Quinn Dalton proves a generous storyteller with an innate understanding of pace and passion. She assures us once and for all that the questions of love are the most important questions of our lives.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:52 -0400)
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