Dwelling Places: A Novel (Vinita Hampton Wright)

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9780060790806: Dwelling Places: A Novel (Vinita Hampton Wright)

In Beulah, Iowa, widow women all over town garden in the clothes of deceased husbands. From a distance, they often look like small–framed men. They keep their husbands' clothes because it's wasteful to throw away hats and shirts that still have wear in them. They wear the clothes in memory of the men they have survived, even after the scent of them has been laundered away.

From its remarkable opening lines to its satisfying, redemptive close, Dwelling Places is a novel of plain beauty and profound emotion.

When Mack Barnes arrives home from a stay in the psych ward, he is just beginning to name his troubles, and the entire family must recognize their collective wounds. After six generations of farming, Mack's family has had to call it quits – just barely saving the family home, but at the cost of Mack's brother Alex and father Taylor Sr. Mack's mother Rita perseveres by trying to take care of everyone, everyone that is, except herself. Jodie, Mack's wife, has survived so much and coped for so long that she cannot recognize her own desperation. Her only remnant of religious faith consisting of old hymns she sings just to keep herself from total distraction, Jodie seeks solace in an ill–advised affair with a local teacher. Kenzie, Mack and Jodie's fourteen year old daughter, has turned to an idealized Jesus for comfort, while Taylor, at seventeen, deals wtih his troubles by becoming a Goth, convincing his little sister that he's given over to Satan.

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Product Description:

Mack and Jodie have no idea how much their lives are going to change when they decide to give up farming. Mack is hospitalized with depression, Jodie finds herself tempted by the affections of another man, and their teenage children begin looking for answers outside the family—Kenzie turns to fundamentalist Christianity, and Taylor starts cavorting with Goths. Told in the unforgettable voices of each family member, this powerful story of family life reveals the stubborn resilience of love and how sometimes the very thing we're looking for has been waiting at home all along.

About the Author:

Vinita Hampton Wright, a novelist and editor who conducts creative writing workshops at conferences and retreats around the country, is the author of the novella The Winter Seeking and the novels Velma Still Cooks in Leeway and Grace at Bender Springs, as well as numerous nonfiction titles.

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