Tuesday, December 13, 2011


I really liked this book, SPIRIT FALLS by Robert E. Townsend. The time is the fifties, the place is northern Wisconsin, the community is comprised of immigrants and/or first generation descendents.

The main character is a sixteen-year-old boy. He and his best friend, a girl his age, trap and work together on the farm. Other people include a displaced person he crushes on, an abused girl who nowadays would be seen screaming for help, some male friends...and enemies. In this coming of age story, we see how he begins to think of places outside Wisconsin, dream of something other than farming.

The writing craft could have been better. The shifting points of view were sometimes abrupt with little transition, and with another abrupt shift within a few paragraphs so that I had to figure out who was thinking what. The characterizations were sometimes over the top, too, with some heavyhanded stereotyping and people behaving strangely. In one place an incident was referred to that didn't happen till later on in the story.

But I felt the lure of the beautiful northwest. I could see the beauty, hear the rushing water, feel the cold. Boy, could I feel the cold! This is one of the coldest books I've ever read.

And even when I put it down, I was wondering what was going to happen, and looking forward to picking it up again.

I liked it so much I intend to reread it, taking in things I missed in my haste to get through it.

This is an excellent read.

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