19 September 2006

New Beginnings

It's a new beginning.

I flew to South Bend, Indiana to teach a workshop for AP teachers. It's a short flight, so I picked up a short book at River City Books: The Staggerford Flood by John Hassler.

A few years ago, I read several of Hassler's novels and got a little tired of what I saw as his Pollyana-ish perspective. On the other hand, I did have good memories of the characters he created. So I took the book on the airplane with me.

It's the story of a reunion of a group of people who were stranded by a flood for a few days. The reunion is complicated by improbable number one: a death that, in some way, might threaten a the continuation of a dying tiny town. The complication is resolved with improbable number two: an impersonation that would never fly in a small town.

The characters are still the strong part of Hassler's work. I enjoyed reading about them.

The publisher has a reading guide for The Staggerford Flood.

A review from Curled Up With a Good Book says, "...This novel perfectly showcases Hassler’s talent in reminding us of days gone by with memories of simpler times. With Garrison Keillor and his Lake Wobegon, Hassler is the undisputed muse of Minnesota. Quirky and wry, Hassler’s characters are seductive and charming, offering the reader a respite from the stresses of everyday life: a visit back in time, when conversations were held on porch swings and grandparents lived only a block away."

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