The Iowa farming community where this novel is set is in deep pain. Family farms have been lost to hard times. A way of life passed on from generation to generation can never be lived again. And the Barnes family in particular is coming apart at the seams. Its members live in the same house, yet dwell in separate worlds that others do not know or can’t comprehend: father Mack has a mental breakdown; mother Jodie has an affair; son Young Taylor is drawn into the Goth lifestyle; and daughter Kenzie finds comfort in the certainties of fundamentalism. It takes a middle-aged, divorced Methodist pastor, who herself has lost a teenage daughter in an accident, to name this community’s pain and give the people who suffer in silence a chance to voice their deep losses. Dwelling Places, named by Publishers Weekly one of the best books of 2006, has just been released in paperback.


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