Bowlaway by Elizabeth McCracken is the acclaimed author’s latest release. This multigenerational novel explores themes of love, connection, and imperfection all within the setting of a bowling alley.
McCracken starts the novel off with the finding of a body in a cemetery. The body though is alive, and its keeper, Bertha Truitt, comes to wholly change the town of Salford, Massachusetts. Against all odds and all societal norms, Bertha, a white woman, marries an African American doctor when segregation is still very much alive and opens a candlepin bowling alley where women of the town come to bowl and show their worth as more than just housewives.
Over the span of the novel, characters die, leave, and keep coming back. Through a series of mysteries and missed connections, the bowling alley sees a number of new owners with new agendas as Bertha’s family, both blood and not, try to unravel their inherited mysteries and find their own place in the world.
While the story is intriguing, I often found myself unable to be fully pulled into Bowlaway. Much of the novel is told as summary as we are whisked through time to new places and new periods where the characters are often unfamiliar and unknowable because of the constant shifting. Further, while the plot of the novel has unbounding potential for interest, the stakes for the characters in many of the scenes feel distant or not wholly there.
A quick read with an element of humor and remorse, Bolwaway is slated to be released by HarperCollins on February 5, 2019. You can preorder a copy of Bowlawayby Elizabeth McCracken at your local bookstore.
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FTC Disclaimer: This book was given to me in return for a fair and honest review of the text.