By chance, Olivia Spenser-Graf and Sadie Hunt turned onto Route 33, thinking the autumn foliage too spectacular to bypass. A year later bibliophile Olivia would be telling customers that it had been their Robert Frost moment, "except ours was the road taken that brought us here."
Only a few miles up that road they pulled into a weedy parking area, drawn to the boarded-up one-room schoolhouse that, within a year, would be renovated and opened as Stacks and Snacks, a bookshop and natural foods eatery.
In eighteen stories, some touching, some raucous, Eric Selby examines redemption, grace, family, and community dysfunction through the lives of small-town people living in Gilead County, Vermont. His unforgettable characters include a beloved old-time barber, a cast of frustrated teachers and students, a family whose farm has to be sold, religious nuts, a retired out-of-state couple with long-held hostilities, and a hymn-singing child who confuses hosanna with Obama.
As people in the county grapple with their problems, Sadie and Olivia find themselves woven into most of their lives. A Gift of Maple Syrup and Other Stories offers insights into the human condition. These stories celebrate the endurance of the human spirit.
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September 30, 2009
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