|About the Book|
Chris Bohjalians books take two or three issues that people tend to have strong opinions about, and somehow make them all come together into one cohesive novel where the issues are not the stars of the story and no bias on the authors part is revealed. The reader is not asked to form a decisive stance on the issues, and the book does not lay the controversies of the issues to rest. The issues are there without being introduced, and the story line does not focus on them, but rather weaves through them. The books are written in a flowing way that draws you in and makes you want to keep reading till the end. I appreciate that his novels very rarely cause the reader to predict an obvious next step in the story, and that when this does happen, the prediction never comes true - not even as the predictably of the opposite happening. What does occur makes sense, without being predictable. I personally enjoy that he and I coincidentally have resided in (or often visited)some of the same towns, which are usually the settings of his novels and always accurately depicted. (Eg. Stowe, VT, Amherst, MA) Having read most of his books one after the other in a short period of time, Ive noticed a few shared characteristics- one being that a lot of the novels begin after a death, which starts the story with tension in the characters while often not using the death as a primary plot point.I need to reread this to remember the issues involved. Past the Bleachers and The Buffalo Soldier both have a welcome self-contained small town in the country feel, unlike some of his other novels that include a focus on a main characters work life in the city or travel town to town.