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Haven's Wake
by Ladette Randolph


Overview -

Early July, and the corn in eastern Nebraska stands ten feet tall; after a near-decade of drought, it seems too good to be true, and everyone is watching the sky for trouble. For the Grebels, whose plots of organic crops trace a modest patchwork among the vast fields of soybeans and corn, trouble arrives from a different quarter in the form of Elsa s voice on her estranged son s answering machine: Your father s dead.  Read more...


 
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More About Haven's Wake by Ladette Randolph
 
 
 
Overview

Early July, and the corn in eastern Nebraska stands ten feet tall; after a near-decade of drought, it seems too good to be true, and everyone is watching the sky for trouble. For the Grebels, whose plots of organic crops trace a modest patchwork among the vast fields of soybeans and corn, trouble arrives from a different quarter in the form of Elsa s voice on her estranged son s answering machine: Your father s dead. You ll probably want to come home.

When a tractor accident fells the patriarch of this Mennonite family, the threads holding them together are suddenly drawn taut, singing with the tensions of a lifetime s worth of love and faith, betrayal and shame. Through the competing voices of those gathered for Haven Grebel s funeral, acts of loyalty and failures, long-suppressed resentments and a tragic secret are brought to light, expressing a larger, complex truth."

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780803243576
  • ISBN-10: 080324357X
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publish Date: March 2013
  • Page Count: 236

Series: Flyover Fiction

Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Literary
Books > Fiction > Religious - General
Books > Fiction > Family Life

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2013-04-01
  • Reviewer: Staff

This second novel (after A Sandhills Ballad) from Ploughshares editor Randolf follows a Mennonite family in the days surrounding the death of its patriarch, Haven Grebel. Slowly paced and at times digressive, the novel generously renders the Grebel family even as it exposes their prejudices and failures. Haven's wife, Elsa, has managed her life with stern stoicism and, following the death of her larger-than-life husband, struggles to maintain harmony in the fractious family unit. Jonathan, the eldest son, has left the fold for life in Boston and his brother Jeffery is mired in depression. Haven's death, Jonathan's return, and the sharp curiosity of Jeffery's young daughter Anna June collude to upset Elsa's fiercely controlled borders. Inevitably, the Grebel family history is neither as clean or straightforward as it first appears; as the family grieves, darker turns in their shared past resurface and must be addressed. The novel is a touch uneven and drags in places, but Randolph is an excellent writer, telling the story with a frankness and humor that keeps it from sinking into melodrama. (Mar)

 
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