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The Daughters of Erietown
by Connie Schultz




Overview -
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - Hidden desires, long-held secrets, and the sacrifices people make for family are at the heart of this powerful first novel by the popular Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist.

"A moving, unforgettable story about time, progress, and how the mistakes of one generation get repeated or repaired by the next."--J. Courtney Sullivan, New York Times bestselling author of Saints for All Occasions

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST AND NEW YORK POST

1957, Clayton Valley, Ohio. Ellie has the best grades in her class. Her dream is to go to nursing school and marry Brick McGinty. A basketball star, Brick has the chance to escape his abusive father and become the first person in his blue-collar family to attend college. But when Ellie learns that she is pregnant, everything changes. Just as Brick and Ellie revise their plans and build a family, a knock on the front door threatens to destroy their lives.

The evolution of women's lives spanning the second half of the twentieth century is at the center of this beautiful novel that richly portrays how much people know--and pretend not to know--about the secrets at the heart of a town, and a family.

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Overview

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - Hidden desires, long-held secrets, and the sacrifices people make for family are at the heart of this powerful first novel by the popular Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist.

"A moving, unforgettable story about time, progress, and how the mistakes of one generation get repeated or repaired by the next."--J. Courtney Sullivan, New York Times bestselling author of Saints for All Occasions

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST AND NEW YORK POST

1957, Clayton Valley, Ohio. Ellie has the best grades in her class. Her dream is to go to nursing school and marry Brick McGinty. A basketball star, Brick has the chance to escape his abusive father and become the first person in his blue-collar family to attend college. But when Ellie learns that she is pregnant, everything changes. Just as Brick and Ellie revise their plans and build a family, a knock on the front door threatens to destroy their lives.

The evolution of women's lives spanning the second half of the twentieth century is at the center of this beautiful novel that richly portrays how much people know--and pretend not to know--about the secrets at the heart of a town, and a family.

 

Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780525479352
  • ISBN-10: 052547935X
  • Publisher: Random House
  • Publish Date: June 2020
  • Page Count: 480
  • Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.55 pounds


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BookPage Reviews

The Daughters of Erietown

Journalist Connie Schultz won a Pulitzer Prize for her columns in Cleveland’s The Plain Dealer, stories that “provided a voice for the underdog and underprivileged.” So it should come as no surprise that her debut novel, The Daughters of Erietown, is a plain-spoken elegy to small-town, working-class women with big stories to tell.

The novel opens with a prologue set in 1975, as college-bound Samantha “Sam” McGinty is leaving behind her hometown, Erietown, but carrying plenty of emotional baggage along with her vintage suitcase. On the road trip to Kent State, she’s accompanied by her parents, Brick and Ellie, and younger brother, Reilly. It’s a trip that hints at Sam’s childhood scars even before the story begins to unfold through a series of flashbacks, starting in 1944.

After being abandoned by her ne’er-do-well parents, Ellie is raised by her grandparents, kind and decent folks whose old age has been interrupted by the demands of another round of child rearing. The youngest of 12 children, Brick grows up with a violent, alcoholic father, who is mourning the death of his favorite son, killed in the war, and a loving mother, who is also a victim of the patriarch’s wrath. By the time Ellie and Brick are teenagers—she’s a cheerleader, he’s the captain of the basketball team—the young lovers are inseparable and looking forward to college, careers and eventually marriage and a family.

But those dreams are dashed by an unplanned pregnancy, a quickie marriage and a move to a dilapidated rental house near the electric plant where Brick finds employment. Before long, the young couple and their baby, Sam, have settled into a routine, with Ellie raising their child and visiting with friends, and Brick turning to a corner tavern and womanizing—with catastrophic consequences.

While Schultz’s compelling narrative and realistic characters will keep readers turning pages into the night, her eye and ear for real-life details set this novel apart from other domestic sagas. Part tragic love story, part powerful testament to shifting cultural norms and the evolution of the women’s movement, The Daughters of Erietown is an impressive first novel with a big heart.

 

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