An 83-year-old obituary writer for a struggling, small-town newspaper finds herself embroiled in intrigue, stumbling onto the story of her career: a country girl has gone missing, perhaps whisked away by an itinerant aerial photographer. Or so it seems. It all could be simply a hoax, or a delusion, the child and child-thief invented from the ...
An 83-year-old obituary writer for a struggling, small-town newspaper finds herself embroiled in intrigue, stumbling onto the story of her career: a country girl has gone missing, perhaps whisked away by an itinerant aerial photographer. Or so it seems. It all could be simply a hoax, or a delusion, the child and child-thief invented from the desperate imagination of a lonely, lovelorn farm woman. The fragility of childhood, the strength of family, and the powerful rumor mills of small, rural towns--The Coffins of Little Hope tells the story of characters caught in the intricately woven webs of myth, legend and deception. Esther Myles, an obituary writer in her eighties working for a struggling small-town newspaper, finds herself embroiled in intrigue, stumbling upon the story of her career as the story of the girl reaches far and wide, igniting controversy, attracting curiosity-seekers from all over the country to this dying rural town. And what do the gothic tales of Miranda and Desiree, the storybook sisters of Muscatine's series of novels, play in this town's survival and in the enduring mystery of Lenore?
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Publishers Weekly, 2011-02-28 It's small town, big drama in Schaffert's sublime latest (after Devils in the Sugar Shop) as Essie Myles, an 83-year-old widowed obituary writer for a small Nebraska newspaper stumbles onto the story of her life. The paper's printing press has been working double-time since a New York publisher contracted it to print part of the print run for the final installment of a wildly popular YA novel series-part of a plan to keep the book's contents under wraps-and Essie kicks into high gear as well when she gets a tip from a local that her daughter, Lenore, has been abducted by her photographer boyfriend. But the more Essie digs, it becomes less evident whether the tale is true or the concoction of a lonely woman desperate for attention. Meanwhile, parts of the YA novel are leaked, the missing person story blows up, and the once quiet town suddenly finds itself on the national stage. Schaffert spins out the story and its offbeat characters with compassion, spoofing the nation's voracious appetite for "news" and suggesting that perhaps not all stories are created equal. Piercing observations and sharp, subtle wit make this a standout. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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