The most lyrical parts of this big-hearted book are about how all the characters…are almost physically drawn to the town and one another…Mr. Butler makes his characters sufficiently different to create all sorts of memorable interactions when their paths cross…[in] this impressively original debut.
Janet Maslin - New York Times
The author romanticizes the landscape and the notion of community—as if such ideals were limited to small town, agrarian dreams. More seriously, his characters are too similar—all of them too lyrical and too insightful. Butler’s prose is often beautiful, and the narrative churns along well, but the book just isn’t convincing enough to get the reader to buy all the way in.
Overall, though, this is a warm and absorbing depiction of male friendship.... [T]he sole female narrator, is as nuanced and believable a character as her male counterparts. —Christine DeZelar-Tiedman, Univ. of Minnesota Libs., Minneapolis
The hearty Midwest, which thrums and beats through tiny Little Wing, Wisconsin—an Anytown, USA, if there ever was one—assumes the whole soul of Butler’s fetching debut, if only to end up proving how unassuming it is.... Butler examines just what it means to be from a place—and if sharing that from-some-place is more a reason to stay in touch, or a reason not to. —Annie Bostrom
(Starred review.) A debut novel that delves so deeply into the small-town heartland that readers will accept its flaws as part of its charm. "Write what you know" is the first dictum directed toward aspiring fiction writers, and there's no doubt that Butler knows his fictional Little Wing inside out.... Despite some soap-opera machinations and occasional literary overreach, the novel will strike a responsive chord.
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