May 1, 2001
May 1, 2001
Dexter County, Maine, and specifically the town of Empire Falls, has seen better days, and for decades, in fact, only a succession from bad to worse. One by one, its logging and textile enterprises have gone belly-up, and the once vast holdings of the Whiting clan (presided over by the last scion's widow) now mostly amount to decrepit real estate. The working classes, meanwhile, continue to eke out whatever meager promise isn't already boarded up.
Miles Roby gazes over this ruined kingdom from the Empire Grill, an opportunity of his youth that has become the albatross of his daily and future life. Called back from college and set to work by family obligation - his mother ailing, his father a loose cannon - Miles never left home again. Even so, his own obligations are manifold: a pending divorce; a troubled younger brother; and, not least, a peculiar partnership in the failing grill with none other than Mrs. Whiting. All of these, though, are offset by his daughter, Tick, whom he guides gently and proudly through the tribulations of adolescence.
A decent man encircled by history and dreams, by echoing churches and abandoned mills, by the comforts and feuds provided by lifelong friends and neighbors, Miles is also a patient, knowing guide to the rich, hardscrabble nature of Empire Falls: fathers and sons and daughters, living and dead, rich and poor alike.
In Richard Russo's lengthy fifth novel--this one set in a small Maine town--the Empire Grill provides the focus for the town's inhabitants, who include Miles Roby, who manages the place; Francine Whiting, the wealthy woman who owns it; Jimmy the cop; and Miles's large, eccentric, and often comic extended family. Many plots intertwine as the townsfolk are revealed in all their odd vulnerability, and Miles surveys them all from behind the counter of the grill. A New York Times Notable Book for 2001.
- Genre: Fiction + Literature Genres, Juvenile Fiction, Fiction + Literature Themes
- Subgenre: Action + Thrillers, General, Family + Friendship, Society + Social Issues, Psychology, Literary Genres + Types of Novels, Settings
- Language: English
- Author: Richard Russo
- Online Item #: 11535014
- Store Item Number (DPCI): 248-07-5006
- ISBN: 9780679432470
- Item can be gift wrapped.
- Made in the USA or Imported