Wednesday, January 04, 2006

With, Donald Harington. Connecticut: Toby Press, 2004 Hardcover, $19.95 ISBN 1-59264-050-8

Sog Allen is a hard nosed cop facing a bleak future, when he decides to buck the tide and retire to an abandoned, nearly unreachable mountain cabin where no one will bother him. But before he can go, he'll need companionship. So he decides to kidnap Robin Terr, a young girl he's spied from afar. When Sog brings Robin to his mountain top cabin, her only friends are Hreapha, the ugliest dog in creation, and the ghost of a 12 year old boy whose family once inhabited the cabin. This new life is strange and disturbing for Robin. Everything she has ever known is gone, and worse than that, Sog has some unpleasant ideas about how this new life should go. But soon after they get to the cabin, something happens to Sog. He's getting sick. He can barely walk and he's drinking more and more, making him even less dependable. With this mixed blessing, young Robin must learn to survive, without the help of her captor, who grows weaker each day.
And so begins Mr. Harington's latest tale of Stay More, Arkansas. A beautiful and terrifying story of self-reliance and flowering self-discovery. This is a fairy tale more vivid and real than many a nonfiction story, and Mr. Harington employs his usual wit and warmth to show us the girl, stranded in the woods without her trail of bread crumbs.
This is the latest of ten novels chronicling Stay More, the legendary fictional small town in the Arkansas Ozark Mountains. Many of these books have recently come back into print through Toby press. Always a treat, Mr. Harington's novels are stylistically inventive, warm and funny. Capturing the best in "Arkansas Traveler," mountain wit, with a depth rarely matched in modern fiction, Mr. Harington's novels are not to be missed.
-Originally published in Ghoti Magazine

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