Book Birthdays celebrate one year of a book’s life in tweets, reviews, and more. This month we’re saying Happy First Book Birthday to Glory Days (Nebraska, 2017).
About the Book:
The small plains town of Ingleside, Nebraska, is populated by down-on-their-luck ranchers and new money, ghosts and seers, drugs and greed, the haves and the have-nots. Lives ripple through each other to surprising effect, though the connections fluctuate between divisive gulfs and the most intimate closeness. At the center of this novel is the story of Teensy and his daughter, Luann, who face the loss of their land even as they mourn the death of Luann’s mother. On the other end of the spectrum, some townspeople find enormous wealth when developers begin buying up acreages. When Glory Days—an amusement park—is erected, past and present collide, the attachment to the land is fully severed, and the invading culture ushers in even darker times.
Melissa Fraterrigo combines gritty realism with magical elements to paint an arrestingly stark portrait of the painful transitions of twenty-first-century, small-town America. She interweaves a slate of gripping characters to reveal deeper truths about our times and how the new landscape of one culture can be the ruin of another.
“A quiet Midwestern ghost story with prose as clear and cold as the Nebraska plains in winter.” —Chicago Review of Books
“A brutally beautiful tale.”—Patrick T. Reardon, Chicago Tribune
“Astonishing writing about a world that deserves greater attention in contemporary literature.”—Library Journal, starred review
“Glory Days blends the surreal with the supernatural while remaining firmly grounded in the hearty Midwestern earth of its setting.”—E. CE Miller, Bustle
On the blog:
A word from Melissa Fraterrigo:
My mom turned 75 yesterday. I called her three times but kept receiving the same robo speak of her answering machine. She called me back late last night and when I asked how she spent her birthday she explained that she trimmed a few trees, pruned the shrubs and weeded. Huh, I thought.
She could have spent the day lunching with friends, sipping mimosas and reminiscing about what it means to live three quarters of a century. But she’s not one for being sedentary—neither am I.
The past twelve months since Glory Days’ release have been magic. Like any celebration there has been cake and wine and the opportunity to meet with fascinating and astute readers. And yet in the process of introducing Glory Days to the world, I’ve had my share of moments when, like my mom, I’ve felt unsettled. I’m eager to focus on revising my YA novel and help my students from the Lafayette Writers’ Studio better understand how to tell their own stories.
I am grateful for all the days leading up to today, and I’m not about to rest.