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The Road to Dalton por Shannon Bowring
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The Road to Dalton (edição 2023)

por Shannon Bowring (Autor)

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537485,864 (4)2
It's 1990. In Dalton, Maine, life goes on. Rose goes to work at the diner every day, her bruises hidden from both the customers and her two young boys. At a table she waits, Dr. Richard Haskell looks back on the one choice that's charted his entire life, before his thoughts wander back to his wife, Trudy, and her best friend. Trudy and Bev have been friends for longer than they can count, and something more than lovers to each other for some time now--a fact both accepted and ignored by their husbands. Across town, new mother Bridget lives with her high school sweetheart Nate, and is struggling with postpartum after a traumatic birth. And nearer still is teenager Greg, trying to define the complicated feelings he has about himself and his two close friends.… (mais)
Membro:vivians
Título:The Road to Dalton
Autores:Shannon Bowring (Autor)
Informação:Europa Editions (2023), 250 pages
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The Road to Dalton por Shannon Bowring

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Mostrando 1-5 de 6 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
The Road to Dalton by Shannon Bowring is an engrossing story of small town life with characters who come to life.

As we learn about all of the townspeople, we pick our favorites as well as those we probably wouldn't want to know in real life. Yet Bowring manages to make even the least appealing of them understandable. By that I mean as a reader I may not want to interact with such a person in real life but I can understand how and/or why this character is the why she/he is.

While the novel has a bit of a twist or startling moment, it is really more of a slice of life story. If you only like stories and characters who have their arcs tied up nicely into a bow at the end, you may feel this let you down. If you understand that life doesn't offer a lot of bows and don't mind novels that do the same, you will enjoy this a lot. That isn't to say most of the stories don't have some sort of closure, even if it consists of avoiding permanent closure. Just as most of us often let things go unless or until they become an issue again, these characters do what they feel they must to continue with their lives.

Ultimately, I think the main character is the town of Dalton. The ebb and flow of life there, the not-so-secret secrets, the willingness to just let things stay the same rather than disrupt everything for an uncertain outcome. It is almost like the people are there to make sure the town survives, but without any real allegiance to it. Just to getting through one day, then the next, and so on.

Highly recommended for those who enjoy engaging character sketches, realistic human interaction, and resolutions that serve to simply allow the characters (well, most of them) to see the next day.

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley. ( )
  pomo58 | Jul 5, 2023 |
“And where else do you have to go; what else do you have to do? You must keep moving. Just a little further.”

Set in 1990, The Road to Dalton is a compelling character driven novel set in small town America from debut novelist, Shannon Bowring.

Dalton, Maine, is home to around 1300 people, among them, town doctor Richard Haskell, who once dreamed of becoming an artist, and his wife of thirty odd years Trudy, who has been having an affair with her best friend, Bev, for nearly as long. Bev’s son Nate, a police officer married to his childhood sweetheart, Bridget, who is struggling with new motherhood. Rose, a young mother of two, who is the regular victim of her abusive drug-dealing husband Tommy; Greg, a teenager who overeats to compensate for his complicated feelings about his sexuality; and town newcomer Alice, who can’t seem to please her mother in law, Nora.

Bowring introduces an ordinary cast of people who live as we all do, with joy and sadness, longing and regret, pleasure and misery, uncertainty and hope, grief and love. While each chapter focuses largely on the thoughts and actions of a different character, they are all intimately connected, creating a seamless and whole narrative.

I was surprised at how quickly I became invested in these characters and their stories. Bowring effortlessly elicits a sense of familiarity and compassion that is only heightened when tragedy strikes, and the regular rhythms of the character’s lives are interrupted.

The writing is understated yet eloquent, evoking an authentic sense of time, place, and character with few flourishes, yet startling ease.

The Road to Dalton is an immersive and insightful novel, a real gem that surprised and charmed me. ( )
  shelleyraec | Jun 17, 2023 |
The Road to Dalton by Shannon Bowring is a highly recommended debut literary novel about small town Maine.

The narrative of The Road to Dalton follows citizens of the fictional small town of Dalton in 1990 Maine. The narrative carefully and compassionately follows three couples and the tension and dilemmas they face. Rose is being abused by Tommy. Richard, the local doctor, sees it all while tolerating a loveless marriage to Trudy. Trudy is in love with Bev, wife of Bill and mother to Nate. Nate's wife Bridget is suffering from post-partum depression. Sarah and Greg are struggling with the unique challenges of adolescence.

This is a character driven novel that relies upon your compassion and care about the people who populate Bowring's small town in order to hold your attention and interest. The interconnected chapters follow the reactions and emotions of the characters who inhabit the town. You might have to set some disbelief aside, but you will be interested in the feelings and reactions of these characters.

The writing is incredible and insightful, although you may have to set some disbelief aside. These characters and their situations will resonate with many readers. This is an excellent debut and Bowring is an author to watch in the future.
Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Europa Editions via Edelweiss.
http://www.shetreadssoftly.com/2023/05/the-road-to-dalton.html ( )
  SheTreadsSoftly | May 29, 2023 |
As a Mainer, I especially appreciate Bowring's portrait of a small community far from any cities. The novel has many "main" characters whose stories are interwoven, which is the way of small towns. As readers we can know more about them than their neighbors do, and their secrets drive their interactions in ways that may seem inexplicable to others. The ending does not provide tidy resolutions to their situations, but is satisfying just the same. We can hope tht the author will continue to explore some of these characters in future books. ( )
  sleahey | May 27, 2023 |
3.5
ou drive down a road in Northern Maine, through conifer forests, pass worn buildings and a lumber mill, the road empty, eerie, until you see in the valley the small town of Dalton, population 1309. You could pass it by. You could imagine there is nothing to see there. But you would be wrong. For every town has its stories, every town has people who are struggling, pretending to be happy in their misery.

Linger awhile. And you will discover in this valley fears and secrets that reflect the greater world’s.

A young mother with postpartum depression. A teenage boy, uncertain and confused. A young wife with an abusive husband. Marriages without passion, married women who are more than friends. A husband tortured by his inability to recognize his wife’s pain.

These characters will break your heart.

Thanks to the publisher for a free book. ( )
  nancyadair | May 10, 2023 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 6 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Bowring captures in her compassionate debut the rhythms of life in small-town Maine. It's 1990 in Dalton, where a close-knit cast faces a series of problems.... By the end, an unexpected death touches everyone, a plot point that Bowring confidently steers away from melodrama, landing instead of poignant realism. Readers will want to take their time with this one.
adicionada por Lemeritus | editarPublisher's Weekly (Apr 24, 2023)
 

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Imagine this: / You are driving alone on a country road in Northern Maine. Your head's still humming from the monotonous drone of I-95, that empty highway. On the radio, nothing but static and outdated country music. / A couple of miles back, you passed a dingy tagging station where men in orange wool hates and vests stood beneath a massive wooden scale, bull moose hanging upside down before them. Dark blood on the dirt. Dead tongue out of the mouth and flapping. This scene passed by so fast you wonder if you only dreamed it - all those men laughing as the moose swung in the bitter wind. / This is Aroostock County. -Prologue
Trudy wears her best green dress for the party. Creases stand up on the shoulders from the coat hanger and tiny pieces of lint stick to the soft velvet bodice. The dress is, perhaps, a little short for a woman her age, hitting her just above her knees. Trudy either doesn't notice these things or is pretending not to care. -Chapter One, A Private Place
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It's 1990. In Dalton, Maine, life goes on. Rose goes to work at the diner every day, her bruises hidden from both the customers and her two young boys. At a table she waits, Dr. Richard Haskell looks back on the one choice that's charted his entire life, before his thoughts wander back to his wife, Trudy, and her best friend. Trudy and Bev have been friends for longer than they can count, and something more than lovers to each other for some time now--a fact both accepted and ignored by their husbands. Across town, new mother Bridget lives with her high school sweetheart Nate, and is struggling with postpartum after a traumatic birth. And nearer still is teenager Greg, trying to define the complicated feelings he has about himself and his two close friends.

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