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Ernie's Ark

by Monica Wood

Ernie's Ark Synopsis

Like Elizabeth Strout, her fellow chronicler of small-town Maine life, Monica Wood imbues her characters with the complexity and humanity of real people. Ernie's Ark is as true as life. -Christina Baker Kline, author of Orphan Train In nine interlinking stories, the town of Abbot Falls reacts as Ernie Whitten, pipefitter, builds a giant ark in his backyard. Ernie was weeks away from a pension-secured retirement when the union went on strike. Now his wife Marie is ill. Struck with sudden inspiration, Ernie builds the ark as a work of art for his wife to see from the window; a vessel to carry them both away; or a plea for God to spare Marie, come hell or high water. As the ark takes shape, the rest of the town carries on. There's Dan Little, a building-code enforcer who comes to fine Ernie for the ark and makes a significant discovery about himself; Francine Love, a precocious thirteen-year-old who longs to be a part of the family-like world of the union workers; and Atlantic Pulp & Paper CEO Henry John McCoy, an impatient man wearily determined to be a good father to his twenty-six-year-old daughter. The people of Abbott Falls will try their best to hold a community together, against the fiercest of odds. . . . Few writers can capture the extraordinary within seemingly ordinary lives as does Monica Wood. An unforgettable tapestry of love, loneliness-and neighbors.

Ernie's Ark Press Reviews

In this extraordinary book, Monica Wood plumbs the depths of the human soul with a perceptive eye and a generous heart. Ernie's Ark tells the story of a quixotic quest born of grief and longing and its reverberations throughout a small Maine mill town. As its inhabitants-husbands and wives, parents and children, friends and enemies-take stock of themselves and each other, their relationships deepen and expand in unexpected ways. Each of them carries hidden passions and quiet griefs, long-held resentments and unrequited dreams. Like Elizabeth Strout, her fellow chronicler of small-town Maine life, Wood imbues her characters with the complexity and humanity of real people. Ernie's Ark is as true as life. -Christina Baker Kline, author of Orphan Train Each story can easily stand alone, yet every new one contains an object or memory we've seen in a previous story, usually from another perspective. The overall effect is one of panorama, the sense that though we haven't met everyone in Abbott Falls, we've cast a good long glance at the range of hopes and heartaches the town contains. -The Cleveland Plain Dealer Ernie's Ark [contains] the subtly disguised idea that anger, loss, and desperation are related and must be confronted...The loving character portraits that form her stories help us understand not only the people of Maine but also the human condition...Though Wood admires the people with whom she shares Maine, she neither patronizes nor reveres them. They regret, they love, they rally around each other, they hope. [Abbott Falls] is not such a bad place to live. -The Boston Globe Ernie's Ark ultimately asks what our response to sorrow says about us. Looming like a silent smokestack is Abbott Falls itself, the tragedy each of the characters share. Held up to Wood's previous two novels-longer, thorough examinations of a single relationship-Ernie's Ark might seem a bit slight. And yet like an honest day's work, it is both simple and more than enough. -San Francisco Chronicle

Book Information

ISBN: 9781567926910
Publication date: 15th October 2020
Author: Monica Wood
Publisher: David R. Godine Publisher Inc
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 200 pages
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),

About Monica Wood

Monica Wood is a novelist, memoirist, and playwright. Her most recent novel, The One-in-a-Million Boy (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), has been published in 22 languages in 30 countries and won the 2017 Nautilus Award (Gold) and the New England Society Book Award. She is also the author of When We Were the Kennedys (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), an Oprah magazine summer-reading pick and winner of both the May Sarton Memoir Award and the 2016 Maine Literary Award. Ernie's Ark was excerpted on NPR's Selected Shorts and selected by several towns and cities as their One Book, One Community read.

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