The Flying Troutmans
By Miriam Toews
(Counterpoint, Hardcover, 9781582434391, 224pp.)
Publication Date: October 2008
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Meet the Troutmans. Hattie’s boyfriend has just dumped her, her sister Min’s back in the psych ward, and Min’s kids, Logan and Thebes, are not talking and talking way too much, respectively. Then there’s the past, in which Min tried to kill Hattie once and to kill herself a lot, in which Min threw the kids’ father out of the house, in which Hattie dropped out of school, in which Logan and his friends kidnapped a friend and drove around town with him in the trunk, and in which Thebes frequently impersonated their insane mom in order to cut class.
When Hattie returns to take care of her niece and nephew, she’s rapidly freaked out by the realization that the responsibility is in fact far greater than she’d expected, and she decides to take the kids in the family van to find their father, last heard to be running an idiosyncratic art gallery in South Dakota. What ensues is a remarkable journey across the United States, as aunt and kids discover one another to be both far crazier and far more normal than any of them thought.
Travel can be stressful, with flight delays, waiting rooms, and hours in economy class. One of the best ways to survive this mayhem is with a good book. Author Susan Jane Gilman offers suggestions for six great books that won't embarrass you in airports. More at NPR.org
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