I found out via Word Lily‘s blog that author Donald Harington died last Saturday at the age of 73. His books are notable for being almost entirely set in the Ozarks. I’ve read two of Harington’s books: With (2003) and Butterfly Weed (1996). With is a fantastic book despite what sounds like an off-putting premise: a pedophile kidnaps a young girl and takes her to a mountain cabin. After an unexpected turn of events, the young girl ends up having to fend for herself, though she has company in the form of various animals as well as a ghost-like presence called an inhabit. The story is told from several different points of view, including that of a dog named Hreapha. It is a great, imaginative tale. I love writers that delve so deeply into their home region and am thankful for Harington for doing so.
When I think of Donald Harington, I can’t help but think of another good writer from the Ozarks: Daniel Woodrell. I’ve read only one book by him, Winter’s Bone, but it was not a book that I will forget any time soon. It is a gritty tale about a fierce and determined teenage girl named Ree who must save her family’s home from her dad’s folly. Judging by Harington and Woodrell, authors from the Ozarks know how to write gutsy books.
So Teaser Tuesday! wherein I pluck a couple random sentences from my current read: Judy Blundell’s What I Saw and How I Lied:
Context: the family lives in New York City at this point of the story.
“We’ve got the American Dream, Bev,” he said. “But there’s more of it out there.”
“Not in New Jersey,” my mom replied.
And, just a quick mention of some recent pick-ups from the library:
A Day in A Medieval City by Chiara Frugoni: Pretty self-explanatory. This is a non-fiction book that goes into what everyday life was like in medieval times.
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith: I always have heard good things about this book. It’s too bad I’ve already seen the movie first, but I’m certain the book has more to offer than the movie did.
Blankets by Craig Thompson: A foray into graphic novels.
Edited to add: