Monday, June 23, 2014

Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler

After high school, some graduates bolt for the city limits while others hunker down to start adult lives right where they are. This book is about five small town friends, about the underlying pull of home, and about friendship and adulthood.

Beautifully written and full of emotion, Butler's book is full of real people with real troubles in a rural northwestern Wisconsin town. Hank and Beth got married and live on a dairy farm with their kids. Ronnie ran the rodeo circuit until injuries forced him out. Kip made it big in Chicago before returning to inject some money into the dying downtown. And Lee became an indie rock superstar. Chapters alternate between the friends, and we come to understand the group's dynamics and history through their memories and perspectives on current events.

I could NOT put this book down, and I have barely stopped talking about it since the moment I turned the first page. Butler's got a real way with words, and his nuanced characters act and speak in the familiar way of Midwestern small-town stoics. I kept reading passages aloud to my husband because it's just written so, so beautifully.

Highly, HIGHLY recommended!!

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