In “the best work of fiction to come out of the Midwest in many years” (Chicago Tribune), David Rhodes offers a fascinating and entirely unsentimental portrait of a town apparently left behind by the march of time.
Home to a few hundred people yet absent from state maps, Words, Wisconsin, comes richly to life by way of an extraordinary cast of characters. Among them, a middle-aged couple guards the family farm from the mendacious schemes of their milk co-operative; a lifelong paraplegic suddenly regains the use of her legs, only to find herself crippled by fury at her sister and caretaker; a woman of conflicting impulses and pastor of the local Friends church stumbles upon an enlightenment she never expected; a cantankerous retiree discovers a cougar living in his haymow, haunting him like a childhood memory; and a former drifter forever alters the ties that bind a community together. As a whole and independently, “each of these stories glimmers” (New Yorker).
At once intimate and funny, wise and generous, Driftless is an unforgettable story of contemporary life in rural America.