When Catherine Tudish’s story collection Tenney’s Landing was published in 2005, Margot Livesey said Tudish “casts an irresistible spell” and David Huddle said, “Tenney’s Landing conjures up a place and a people with that magical vividness we found in Porter, Welty, Cheever, and Updike.” Here, in her first novel, Tudish has fashioned a masterful and intimate portrait of a woman returning, midlife, to the small farming community where she grew up.
After Nathan Rownd is injured in a tractor accident, his daughter, Virginia, leaves her suburban life and returns to Tenney’s Landing with her teenage son to work the family farm. She struggles with the long periods of separation from her husband and begrudgingly relearns the insistent, exhausting cadence of farm chores. But when Nathan decides to sell the farm, Virginia realizes how deep her connection to the land is and begins to question who she is and where she belongs.
Catherine Tudish’s writing is a tribute to small-town America. In simple, elegant prose she captures the rhythms of everyday life and the moments of truth and transformation that are found there. American Cream is a tender and wise novel by a writer of unusual sensitivity and grace.
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