Bowlaway

A Novel

by Elizabeth McCracken

On Sale: 02/05/2019

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Bowlaway

A Novel

by Elizabeth McCracken

On Sale: 02/05/2019

Format:

About the Book

A sweeping and enchanting new novel from the widely beloved, award-winning author Elizabeth McCracken about three generations of an unconventional New England family who own and operate a candlepin bowling alley

From the day she is discovered unconscious in a New England cemetery at the turn of the twentieth century—nothing but a bowling ball, a candlepin, and fifteen pounds of gold on her person—Bertha Truitt is an enigma to everyone in Salford, Massachusetts. She has no past to speak of, or at least none she is willing to reveal, and her mysterious origin scandalizes and intrigues the townspeople, as does her choice to marry and start a family with Leviticus Sprague, the doctor who revived her. But Bertha is plucky, tenacious, and entrepreneurial, and the bowling alley she opens quickly becomes Salford’s most defining landmark—with Bertha its most notable resident.

When Bertha dies in a freak accident, her past resurfaces in the form of a heretofore-unheard-of son, who arrives in Salford claiming he is heir apparent to Truitt Alleys. Soon it becomes clear that, even in her death, Bertha’s defining spirit and the implications of her obfuscations live on, infecting and affecting future generations through inheritance battles, murky paternities, and hidden wills.

In a voice laced with insight and her signature sharp humor, Elizabeth McCracken has written an epic family saga set against the backdrop of twentieth-century America. Bowlaway is both a stunning feat of language and a brilliant unraveling of a family’s myths and secrets, its passions and betrayals, and the ties that bind and the rifts that divide. 

Educator and Librarian Resources

Critical Praise

“[McCracken] is a beloved bard of the eccentric.... McCracken writes with exuberant precision, ingenious lyricism, satirical humor, and warmhearted mischief and delight.... This compassionate and rambunctious saga about love, grief, prejudice, and the courage to be one’s self chimes with novels by John Irving, Audrey Niffenegger, and Alice Hoffman. - Booklist (starred review)

“Stellar.... McCracken writes with a natural lyricism that sports vivid imagery and delightful turns of phrase. Her distinct humor enlivens the many plot twists that propel the narrative, making for a novel readers will sink into and savor.” - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“McCracken understands the vast variety of ways to be human. . . . Parents and children, lovers, brothers and sisters, estranged spouses, work friends and teammates all slam themselves together and fling themselves apart across the decades in the glorious clatter of McCracken’s unconventional storytelling.” - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Elizabeth McCracken is a national treasure.” - Paul Harding, Wall Street Journal

“McCracken knows all kinds of subtle, enticing secrets of the heart and conveys them in silky, transparent language.” - Don Waters, San Francisco Chronicle

“Elizabeth McCracken is one of my favorite writers. Or, to put it another way: I’ve read everything she’s written . . . and there’s nothing I haven’t liked and admired enormously . . . Anything new by her is an excuse for wild, drunken celebration.” - Nick Hornby, The Believer

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780062862853
  • ISBN 10: 0062862855
  • Imprint: Ecco
  • On Sale: 02/05/2019
  • Pages: 384
  • List Price:34.99 CAD
  • BISAC1 : FICTION / Literary
  • BISAC2 : FICTION / Family Life
  • BISAC3 : FICTION / Historical

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