Books from the Backlog #152

Posted February 25, 2021 by Carole in Books from the Backlog / 14 Comments

Books from the Backlog is a fun way to feature some of those neglected books sitting on your bookshelf unread.  If you are anything like me, you might be surprised by some of the unread books hiding in your stacks.

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This week’s neglected book

 

Virgil Wander by Leif Enger
Publication Date: October 2, 2008
 Publisher: Grove Atlantic

The first novel in ten years from award-winning, million-copy bestselling author Leif Enger, Virgil Wander is an enchanting and timeless all-American story that follows the inhabitants of a small Midwestern town in their quest to revive its flagging heart.

Midwestern movie house owner Virgil Wander is “cruising along at medium altitude” when his car flies off the road into icy Lake Superior. Virgil survives but his language and memory are altered and he emerges into a world no longer familiar to him. Awakening in this new life, Virgil begins to piece together his personal history and the lore of his broken town, with the help of a cast of affable and curious locals–from Rune, a twinkling, pipe-smoking, kite-flying stranger investigating the mystery of his disappeared son; to Nadine, the reserved, enchanting wife of the vanished man; to Tom, a journalist and Virgil’s oldest friend; and various members of the Pea family who must confront tragedies of their own. Into this community returns a shimmering prodigal son who may hold the key to reviving their town.

With intelligent humor and captivating whimsy, Leif Enger conjures a remarkable portrait of a region and its residents, who, for reasons of choice or circumstance, never made it out of their defunct industrial district. Carried aloft by quotidian pleasures including movies, fishing, necking in parked cars, playing baseball and falling in love, Virgil Wander is a swift, full journey into the heart and heartache of an often overlooked American Upper Midwest by a “formidably gifted” (Chicago Tribune) master storyteller.

Why did I add Virgil Wander to my bookshelf?

I won an ARC of this book about two and a half years ago.  I really liked Peace Like a River when I read that book years ago so I was looking forward to reading this one too.  But it is still sitting unread on my bookshelf!  It’s not a very long book and it’s pretty highly rated on Goodreads so I should move it closer to the top of my stack.

What are your thoughts? Have you read this book?  Would you recommend it to others?

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14 responses to “Books from the Backlog #152

  1. I've never heard of it but it's small town, sounds like MN and the uplift of a town coming to life. Especially since my Dad owned a chain of movie theaters in Iowa between 1930-1955. I think I might enjoy this one.

    Anne – Books of My Heart