American small town life, teeming with immigrants supported by the local mine. We follow five siblings as they grow away from, and return to, their roots during the boom post World War II years. Then comes Vietnam. Through births and deaths, tragedy and success we follow the American dream in an intimate family saga. I loved it.
Comparison: Anne Tyler, Elinor Lipman, Carol Shields.
Similar this month: Adriana Trigiani, Penny Sumner.
Stanley Novak is a first generation Polish immigrant. Seeking a better life, he moves to Bakerton and finds work in the booming local mine. The Novaks move to an area known as Polish Hill, teeming with immigrants from all over Europe, all chasing the American Dream.
Their five children belong to what will someday be known as the Greatest Generation, but for now, they are just trying to find their identities in a vastly changing world. The eldest, George, avoids signing up but is drafted to the Pacific when America joins the war. He comes home determined to avoid the mines and leave Bakerton behind. Dorothy is a fragile and naive girl, who finds it hard to cope with her desk job in Washington. Joyce, fiercely intelligent, must hold the family together and remains bitterly aware of the life that she could have had. Sandy swans through life with his movie-star looks, never taking responsibility for his actions. And Lucy, the youngest, must find her own path in the shadow of her formidable siblings.
Baker Towers is a beautiful snapshot of a small town - of company houses and union squabbles; the boom and bust of the post-war years; the immigrant neighbourhoods of Swedetown, Little Italy and Polish Hill; the miners, undertakers, soldiers, firemen and families who populate the town and bring it vividly to life.
‘Haigh is an astute observer of human nature…In her writing and storytelling style, there are echoes of Anne Tyler’ Irish Examiner
Publication date: 04/04/2005
Publisher: Harpercollins Publishers
|Publication date:||4th April 2005|
|Genres:||eBook Favourites, Family Drama, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction,|
Jennifer Haigh grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania. She is a graduate of Dickinson College and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where she was awarded a 2002 James A. Michener Fellowship. Her short stories have been published in Good Housekeeping, Alaska Quarterly Review, The Idaho Review, Global City Review, and elsewhere. She lives in Boston, Massachusetts. Her first novel, Mrs Kimble, won the PEN/Hemingway Award for debut fiction in the USA. HarperCollins publish Mrs Kimble in May 2004 and will publish Jennifer Haighâ€™s second novel in spring 2005.More About Jennifer Haigh