WHO: Rebecca Rasmussen
WHAT: EVERGREEN, a novel
WHEN: Published by Knopf July 15, 2014
WHERE: Set in Minnesota.
WHY: “She writes with wisdom and compassion.
“Rebecca Rasmussen has been steadily crafting a unique brand of midwestern literature that combines offbeat characters and timeless rhythms reminiscent of folk tales with touching story lines about the pain and hardwon joys of real life. As with her debut, The Bird Sisters, in her new one, she shows her strong affection for the picturesque rural settings of yesteryear.
“In 1938, Eveline Sturm joins her German-born husband, Emil, in the northern Minnesota backwoods. Their isolated cabin is beyond rustic, and her only reading material is Emil’s taxidermy manuals, yet she decides to remain alone with their baby son, Hux, when Emil returns to Germany to care for his father. Years later, Eveline’s daughter, Naamah, the product of a traumatic rape, grows up amid cruelty in a Catholic orphanage. After reuniting with his half sister as an adult, Hux tries to help the beautiful, damaged Naamah recapture her lost childhood.
“In this character-driven saga of friendship and the thorny bonds of family, Rasmussen writes with wisdom and compassion about the people and places that shape us, for better and worse.” —Sarah Johnson, BOOKLIST
“This novel has a touch of the gothic.
“Though most of her characters are deeply wounded in some way, Rasmussen shows great compassion for them all… Throughout is a theme of a need for human connection and interdependence, even among people who choose to live apart.”
—Christine DeZelar-Tiedman, LIBRARY JOURNAL
From the beginning of the book: Eveline LeMay came after the water. She arrived on a cool morning in early September, asleep in a rowboat without paddles as if she knew the river currents would carry her past the tamarack and black-spruce forest, around Bone Island, a fen, and a bog, all the way to Evergreen and her new husband, Emil, who was waiting for her on the rocky shore.
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