Book Howard Frank Mosher The Fall of the Year

ISBN 13: 9780395984161

The Fall of the Year

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9780395984161: The Fall of the Year

The rugged and mysterious mountains of Kingdom County are the setting for Howard Frank Mosher's brilliant new autobiographical novel, The Fall of the Year. Like Mosher's acclaimed earlier novels, The Fall of the Year celebrates the fiercely independent people of Kingdom Common, including such memorable new characters as Foster Boy Dufresne, the local bottle picker and metaphysical savant; the incomparably strange clairvoyant and matchmaker, Louvia the Fortuneteller; Dr. Sam E. Rong, a wayfaring Chinese herbalist and connoisseur of human nature; the itinerant vaudevillian mind reader, Mr. Moriarity Mentality, who uses his unusual powers to teach the town fathers a lesson they will never forget; and the daredevil tomboy, Molly Murphy, who risks her life twice in a single day to fulfill her dream of running away with the Last Railway Extravaganza and Greatest Little Show on Earth. At the heart of The Fall of the Year are Kingdom County's baseball-playing, trout-fishing "unorthodox priest," Father George Lecoeur, his adopted son and protegé, Frank Bennett, and two interlocking love stories unlike any others in contemporary fiction. Written in Howard Frank Mosher's distinctively wry and ironical voice, with the straight-ahead narrative action that characterizes all his fiction, The Fall of the Year is a celebration of love in all its forms, from friendship to the most passionate romance, in a place where family, community, vocation, and the natural world still matter profoundly.

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Review:

In his novels Northern Borders and A Stranger in the Kingdom, Howard Frank Mosher has displayed a magical command of New England's terrain, not to mention its rustic inhabitants. The Fall of the Year finds him at it again, waving his writer's wand over a tiny section of the north woods. His narrator, Frank Bennett, has returned home to Kingdom Common, Vermont, after graduating from college during the late 1950s. Despite the impending construction of a nearby ski resort, this minuscule village remains as bucolic as ever:

Truth to tell, few of the three hundred or so Commoners who lived in the village proper had the slightest inclination in downhill skiing anyway. Our principal recreations were still trout fishing and deer hunting, and they were both very good indeed.
It's the Commoners--particularly the more eccentric ones--who make up the heart of Mosher's novel. Frank devotes one chapter to the village's grumbling fortuneteller; another to a fiercely entrepreneurial jack-of-all-trades; and a third to a beautiful baker's assistant, with whom he'd clearly like more than a casual, yarn-spinning relationship. But the true personification of the place would have to be Frank's adoptive parent, Father George Lecouer. When this ex-whiskey smuggler turned priest isn't laboring at his 3,000-page History of Kingdom County, he's dispensing advice to the narrator and setting various bits of small-town havoc in motion. Though some of Frank's tales are predictable, most evince the storyteller's gift for consistent surprise--which makes this Kingdom Common saga an uncommonly fine work of fiction. --Rucker Alex

About the Author:

HOWARD FRANK MOSHER is the author of ten books, including Waiting for Teddy Williams, The True Account, and A Stranger in the Kingdom, which, along with Disappearances, was corecipient of the New England Book Award for fiction. He lives in Vermont.

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