So Long at the Fair
By Christina Schwarz
(Doubleday, Hardcover, 9780385510295, 256pp.)
Publication Date: July 8, 2008
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The bestselling author of Drowning Ruth returns to the small-town Wisconsin she so brilliantly evoked with this gripping novel about love, marriage, and adultery.
In the summer of 1963 a plot for revenge destroys a career, a friendship, and a family. The consequences of the scandalous event continue to reverberate, touching the next generation. Thirty years later, over the course of one day, Jon struggles to decide whether to end his affair or his marriage. His wife, Ginny, moving closer to discovering his adultery, begins working for an older man who is mysteriously connected to their families’ pasts. And Jon’s mistress is being courted by a suitor who may be more menacing than he initially seems. As relationships among the characters ebb and flow on that July day, Christina Schwarz illuminates the ties that bind people together—and the surprising risks they take in the name of love.
As in Drowning Ruth, Schwarz weaves past and present into a richly textured portrait of the secrets and deceptions that simmer beneath everyday life in a small midwestern town. With page-turning intensity and in prose at once lush and precise, she beautifully conjures the emotional labyrinth of a marriage on the brink of collapse and proves that no matter how hard we work to stifle them, the secrets of the past refuse to be ignored.
Betrayal versus loyalty . . . lust versus love . . . infidelity versus honor. Welcome to the complex web of Christina Schwarz’s dazzling new novel, So Long at the Fair.
CHRISTINA SCHWARZ is the author of the critically acclaimed All Is Vanity and Drowning Ruth, a #1 bestseller in both hardcover and paperback, which was selected for Oprah’s Book Club and optioned by Wes Craven for Miramax.
- So Long at the Fair reveals the perspectives of multiple characters and dual timelines. In what way did this enhance your reading? How would the storytelling have been affected if you had just seen Jon's point of view?
Glowing praise for So Long at the Fair
“Following one crucial day in a marriage tottering on the brink, Schwarz shows the fragility, complexity, and danger inherent in love. A true American tragedy, full of love as well as despair.”
“Fans of Christina Schwarz will be thrilled to see that she's back--and once again displaying her greatest strength as a writer: a deep, almost unnerving empathy for human frailty that lends suspense and poignance to the most "ordinary" of domestic emotional struggles. The way she moves back and forth with such ease among her characters and the way she tells the story of a complex family history through the events of a single day impressed me mightily.”
-- Julia Glass, bestselling author of Three Junes and The Whole World Over
“Over and over in So Long At The Fair I found myself being torn in different directions. That's how real this novel feels and that's how complicated the plot becomes as Schwarz gradually reveals the vexed history of each of her vivid and complex characters. A wonderful and deeply satisfying novel.”
-- Margot Livesey, author of The House on Fortune Street
“Nobody really knows what goes on in other people’s marriages. Well, nobody except, maybe, Christina Schwarz, who delves with astonishing clarity and honesty into the hearts and heads of those who love, honor, and break all the rules. So Long at the Fair stampedes forward with elegant writing and a swift and noisy plot that held me in its thrall from the first page until the last. Anyone who has ever had a relationship, or is even thinking about having one, should read this book.”
—Betsy Carter, author of Swim to Me
“So Long at the Fair is both compelling and intimate. Christina Schwarz dives deeply into the hearts and minds of her characters, and their dynamics are utterly convincing. The result is a literary page-turner of immense satisfaction.”
--Patrick Ryan, author of Send Me
Acclaim for Christina Schwarz’s #1 bestseller Drowning Ruth
“Powerful . . . Suspenseful . . . Richly textured . . . [A] chilling, precociously good start to a bright new novelist’s career.”
—New York Times
“A strong sense of portent and unusually vivid characters distinguish this mesmerizing first novel. . . Drowning Ruth is a complex and rewarding debut.”
—Anita Shreve, author of Sea Glass
“Gripping . . . A story of deep family rivalries . . . A remarkable debut.”
—New York Times Book Review
“Riveting . . . A very suspenseful tale, one that will keep readers up shivering in the night.”