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Empire Falls by Richard Russo (Great Reads) October 12, 2007

Posted by bookgoddess in Books, Fiction, Great Reads, Literature.
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Empire Falls is one of my favorite books to recommend to people, and I don’t think I’ve had a dissatisfied customer yet.

This book has a wonderful sense of place – Empire Falls is a mill town in decline, still ruled over by the elderly daughter of the mill owners. 

Of course, there is a diner.  It’s managed by Miles Roby, the central character.  Once, he was a college boy with a bright future.  But he left school to take care of his aging mother.  Twenty years later, he’s still in Empire Falls and his wife is leaving him for the owner of the local health club.  Oh, dear….

Alongside the narrative of Miles’s midlife slump and the town’s decline, we have vignettes of the history of the leading family.  These stories eventually converge in a startling climax.

By the way, this novel won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2002.  Besides literary excellence, one of the criteria for the Pulitzer is that the novel portrays an aspect of American life.  I think Empire Falls succeeds admirably on both counts.

What books do you like to recommend?  I would love to know!

Tina Maura Albee

The Book Goddess

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