(From the publisher):
Shelby, Vermont is a place torn between past and future, a contemporary New England town "where time was revealed not by geology, but by tumbling stone walls" and, increasingly, the division of family farms into "executive lots" where rich flatlanders build expensive homes. Against this backdrop the thirty-year saga of the Chartrain family is played out in a novel that exposes the harsh realities behind the picture postcard views, but is incisive in its truths about the strength of the human spirit. The five Chartrain siblings are wracked with an emptiness instilled by bad parents, bad timing, and bad luck. Bright but self-proclaimed perpetual loser Mitchell escapes the beatings of his alcoholic father and seeks to combat the social, economic, and spiritual pummelings he continues to feel by dealing cocaine and dreaming of sailboats. Donna, a wild teenager with a desire "to taste that moment of destruction" finds temporary solace in the arms of a local farm boy. Nancy, the youngest, is overwhelmed by a feeling of dread, a sense that she is only "a paper cutout going through the motions". And cousin Jamie, who believes that women are beyond his reach, struggles to hold on to what remains of the family land. When the young Chartrains leave home, their fortunes spin even more frantically, bringing conflict, crisis, compulsion, and even death, along with some hard-won triumphs. How these very real, often weak, but always resilient characters resist caving in to despair shapes this gritty but gripping story of life in a Vermont the tourists never see.
Original title: The Price of Land in Shelby
Genre: Fiction→ General Fiction→ Rural & Small Town Life
Fiction→ General Fiction→ Ties That Bind→ Multigenerational Sagas