The Incubator Ballroom: A Novella and Four Stories

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9780679400332: The Incubator Ballroom: A Novella and Four Stories
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A varied group of outsiders comes to settle in the old farming country of northern Virginia--a tough, fertile, resilient land that shapes and refashions its inhabitants--in a collection of stories

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From Publishers Weekly:

Grace Mason, proud, defiant heroine of the title novella, runs an upland Virginia farm on the Potomac that her nouveau riche, separating parents--originally from Roanoke, where their hearts still remain--have lost interest in. Grace's wedding to the easygoing farmhand she seduces will be derailed by mutually suspicious families, incest between cousins and class snobbery. The other stories in this iridescent gem of a collection are also set in northern Virginia's countryside, and involve outsiders--a New Jersey mafioso in hiding, a West Virginia au pair, a hippie homesteader couple from Washington, D.C.--who settle in, for better and worse. Migrating Canadian geese in vee formation provide the central image of the haunting "In Dairyland," about a teen's flight from parents who read his diary. Gardiner ( In the Heart of the Whole World ) is a wonderfully distinctive writer whose often funny stories are animated by a healing, intelligent compassion for characters groping for redemption in a heartless world.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

In this book, Gardiner describes subtly the life experiences of several iconoclastic families residing in the Virginia countryside. The novella depicts a somewhat eccentric father who transported his young family from upper-class Roanoke to a farm in southern Maryland. His game farm venture fails, but over the years his youngest daughter has become interested in farming and by the age of 22 is managing their 300 acres. The stories deal with a diversity of characters, from a New Jersey mafioso and his daughter to a West Virginia au pair and her adopted family. All these individuals have been drawn to the country for some reason, and the manner in which they cope with their neighbors and environment is at the core of this work. The events are not extraordinary, nor are they boring; rather, they are the stuff of life.
- Kimberly G. Allen, National Assn. of Home Builders Lib., Washington, D.C.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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