About the Book
In most small towns, the private is also public. In the town of Dalton, one local makes an unthinkable decision that leaves the community reeling. In the aftermath, their problems, both small and large, reveal a deeper understanding of the lives of their neighbors, and remind us all that no one is exactly who we think they are.
It’s 1990. In Dalton, Maine, life goes on. Rose goes to work at the diner every day, her bruises hidden from both the customers and her two young boys. At a table she waits, Dr. Richard Haskell looks back on the one choice that’s charted his entire life, before his thoughts wander back to his wife, Trudy, and her best friend.
Trudy and Bev have been friends for longer than they can count, and something more than lovers to each other for some time now—a fact both accepted and ignored by their husbands. Across town, new mother Bridget lives with her high school sweetheart Nate, and is struggling with postpartum after a traumatic birth. And nearer still is teenager Greg, trying to define the complicated feelings he has about himself and his two close friends.
The Road to Dalton offers valuable understandings of what it means to be alive in the world—of pain and joy, conflict and love, and the endurance that comes from living.
Releases June 6th
I love books that showcase small-town life. And as a semi-neighbor of Maine (I’m in small-town Vermont,) I knew I wanted to read this based on the location and the years this story takes place. Told from varying perspectives, this book covers many people in many circumstances and shows how lives intersect in small-town life.
Sadly, what Trudy and Bev had to go through to hide who they were is typical 90s America. Heck, even today, depending on the town, it’s still fairly common. This book packs in a lot, love, life, loss, and more. If there were any negatives for me, I felt the end came rather abruptly. But I appreciate how the story feels somewhat meandering, that there isn’t an overarching theme, and it works very well for this story.
Overall, this is an engaging read that immerses you in the politics of small-town life while giving you some characters with very distinct personalities—nicely done.
2 thoughts on “The Road to Dalton, Shannon Bowring”
Small town life and politics can be very interesting. I read our town newsletter just for that reason. Excellent review!
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I do too! There’s only 3k people here so it’s fun to see what activities they come up with.