Bowlaway (Hardback)Elizabeth McCracken (author)
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From the day she is discovered unconscious in a New England cemetery at the beginning of the twentieth century - nothing but a bowling ball, a candlepin and fifteen pounds of gold on her person - Bertha Truitt is an enigma to everyone in Salford, Massachusetts.
She has no past to speak of, or at least none she is willing to reveal, and her mysterious origin scandalises and intrigues the townspeople, as does her choice to marry and start a family with Leviticus Sprague, the doctor who revived her. But Bertha is plucky, tenacious and entrepreneurial, and the bowling alley she opens quickly becomes Salford's most defining landmark - with Bertha its most notable resident. She changes the town forever: her singular spirit resonating powerfully through every board and brick and bone.
In a voice laced with insight and her signature sharp humour, Elizabeth McCracken has written an epic family saga set against the backdrop of twentieth-century America. Bowlaway is both a stunning feat of language and a brilliant unravelling of a family's myths and secrets, its passions and betrayals, and the ties that bind and the rifts that divide.
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Number of pages: 384
Weight: 611 g
Dimensions: 240 x 162 x 35 mm
'A big, glorious novel in every sense, this sprawling family saga... is a funny and big-hearted epic from a seriously gifted wordsmith.' - Samantha Irby, Marie Claire
'[McCracken has] considerable gifts as a novelist [and] instinctive access to the most intricate threads of human thought and feeling... This novel's cast grows epic, but McCracken is always most impressive when she works small, when she is describing movie kisses or corsets or simply loneliness and longing.' - The New York Times
'Death and life, frosted with macabre comedy: it's why we've enjoyed Elizabeth McCracken since her debut novel, The Giant's House... nothing is ordinary in this story... There's a wickedness to McCracken's technique, the way she lures us in with her witty voice and oddball characters but then kicks the wind out of us... endlessly surprising.' - Ron Charles, The Washington Post
'Bowlaway is that most improbable of literary phenomena: a buoyant, joyful, rollicking yarn of sadness and loss... McCracken's gloriously vibrant and boisterously surprising narrative voice is one of the great triumphs of Bowlaway... A tour de force.' - The Boston Globe
'Irresistibly quirky... Packed with Dickensian characters and plot devices (orphans, secret wills, hidden treasure...), [Bowlaway is] lyrical and humorous, with some dazzlingly inventive twists. A family saga unlike any other.' - Hephzibah Anderson, The Mail on Sunday
'McCracken's newest novel, a 20th-century family epic centered on candlepin bowling, is populated by strange, excellent characters, and unfolds with all the offbeat coziness and heartache of a great American fable: molasses floods, workplace fires, surprising heirs, and all.' - Vanity Fair
'At the turn of the 20th century a woman is discovered unconscious and nearly frozen in a New England cemetery with only a bowling ball, a candlepin, and 15 pounds of gold on her. The National Book Award finalist's exuberantly weird and wonderful book unravels the mystery.' - O, the Oprah Magazine
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