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Grand opening
Hassler, Jon.
Adult Fiction HASSLER

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From Publishers' Weekly:

As if retrieved from a time capsule, Hassler's fifth novel faithfully evokes a dark vision of Midwestern small-town life in 1944. The Foster familyCatherine, Hank, their 12-year-old son, Brendan, and Catherine's elderly fatherare urging a 1928 De Soto toward the town of Plum, Minn., and a time-honored American Dream: ownership of a business (they have purchased a dilapidated grocery store), a home and a sense of belonging. But Plum turns out to be a lemon; sour in spirit, pitted with religious bias and general mistrust. Hank's store is patronized only by Catholics like himself; the Lutheran trade is taken by a Lutheran competitor. When Catherine attempts to comfort an employee who's having an epileptic seizure, rumors circulate that they are having an affair. Even Brendan is forced into a quest for moral certainties when he befriends the town's pariah. Though much of this book may be overly familiar to older readers, it may edify younger ones of late exposed to quantities of literature extolling those not-so-good old days. (May 29) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

The year is 1944, and Hank and Catherine Foster have packed up their belongings, a 12-year-old son, and his 80-year-old grandfather and moved to Plum, Minnesota. Unaccustomed to life in a small town, they struggle to establish a successful supermarket while adjusting to the close-minded townspeople and their religious bigotry. Their son adapts more naively. Eventually his unwitting association with a young thief, Dodger, teaches him a painful lesson about life. The author creates a town of colorful, if petty, characters, though none so eminently likable as Dodger; the reader aches for this awkward and lonely boy, so desperately in need of acceptance. This tale of moral awakening will appeal to teenage as well as adult readers, making it a good choice for public libraries. Kimberly G. Allen, Supreme Court Lib., Washington, D.C. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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