Glory Days

Glory Days

Glory Days

Glory Days

Synopsis

Best Fiction Books of 2017 by Chicago Review of Books

One of 19 Books You Should Read This September by Chicago Review of Books

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.

In Glory Days 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.

Excerpt

I didn't believe him for the longest time. Three years since Mama’s passing, and he continued to see her. Day before the sale I heard him scramble into his pants and flannel, laces crisscrossing, light still murky uncertain. I knew he’d caught sight of something from his bedroom window. I pulled on socks, and the back door swung wide. I followed him, imagined Mama’s words in my ears, Look after your father, as if she’d known, as if somehow she’d known.

Outside Daddy’s boots broke dirt clots, the little land we had left went on unplowed, just stubs of corn, old mud ruts now dry. He didn’t want me to follow him. Tess! he called, my mother’s name. How had he gotten so far? When I caught up to him, his face shined with sweat. I tugged his elbow. Let’s go home, I told him, shivering with chill despite the wet heat. He took off. I heard emptiness rattle inside his shirt. He refused to eat; he said nothing tasted right. I looked up in the direction he ran, saw a woman in a gray gown and overcoat. She plodded firm with her back to us. Tess, he said to her. Please.

I didn’t want what he claimed to be true. I had stood beneath the old oak where they set the stone with two engraved names. I thought I remembered crying.

I reached him again. He put a hand up to silence me. the sky peached, and the moon receded. We followed her across the . . .

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