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The summer Frank is thirteen, his small, rural town is rocked by four deaths and a mystery that entwines several prominent families and changes their lives forever. I was pleasantly surprised by this eloquent coming-of-age story. I'm not really into books about funny, folksy, saccharine small-town charm, so I'm always a little cautious approaching writing about small-town Minnesota (speaking as a Minnesotan myself). This is definitely not a funny book, and though the author definitely sets the place and time by making frequent local references, it was just shy of being too much. It was satisfying to guess fairly quickly which real Minnesota town New Bremen is modeled after based on geographic and industrial clues given in the text, and ultimately it also gave me a hankering for a rural Minnesota road trip.

ryner's rating:
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