So Long at the Fair: Book summary and reviews of So Long at the Fair by Christina Schwarz

So Long at the Fair

By Christina Schwarz

So Long at the Fair
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  • Published in USA  Jul 2008,
    256 pages.

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Book Summary

The bestselling author of Drowning Ruth returns to the small-town Wisconsin she so brilliantly evoked with this gripping novel about love, marriage, and adultery.

In the summer of 1963 a plot for revenge destroys a career, a friendship, and a family. The consequences of the scandalous event continue to reverberate, touching the next generation. Thirty years later, over the course of one day, Jon struggles to decide whether to end his affair or his marriage. His wife, Ginny, moving closer to discovering his adultery, begins working for an older man who is mysteriously connected to their families' pasts. And Jon's mistress is being courted by a suitor who may be more menacing than he initially seems. As relationships among the characters ebb and flow on that July day, Christina Schwarz illuminates the ties that bind people together—and the surprising risks they take in the name of love.

As in Drowning Ruth, Schwarz weaves past and present into a richly textured portrait of the secrets and deceptions that simmer beneath everyday life in a small midwestern town. With page-turning intensity and in prose at once lush and precise, she beautifully conjures the emotional labyrinth of a marriage on the brink of collapse and proves that no matter how hard we work to stifle them, the secrets of the past refuse to be ignored.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"While the manufactured quality of the 1963 story line is a minor problem, Schwarz's portrait of Jon and Ginny's loving but damaged marriage is unsparing and heartbreaking. A true American tragedy, full of love as well as despair." - Kirkus Reviews.

"Nobody really knows what goes on in other people’s marriages. Well, nobody except, maybe, Christina Schwarz, who delves with astonishing clarity and honesty into the hearts and heads of those who love, honor, and break all the rules. So Long at the Fair stampedes forward with elegant writing and a swift and noisy plot that held me in its thrall from the first page until the last. Anyone who has ever had a relationship, or is even thinking about having one, should read this book." - Betsy Carter, author of Swim to Me.

"So Long at the Fair is both compelling and intimate. Christina Schwarz dives deeply into the hearts and minds of her characters, and their dynamics are utterly convincing. The result is a literary page-turner of immense satisfaction." - Patrick Ryan, author of Send Me.

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Author Information

Christina Schwarz Author Biography

Photograph by Deone Jahnke

Christina Schwarz was raised in southern Wisconsin on farmland that has been in her family for generations. She has a B.A. and M.A. in English from Yale. Christina taught high school English while she was working on her first novel, Drowning Ruth, which was published in 2000 and was selected for Oprah's book club in September 2000. Her novels range from modern satire (All Is Vanity) to the chronicle of a contemporary marriage (So Long At the Fair) to gothic drama set in the past (Drowning Ruth). Her latest work, The Edge of the Earth is a return to a historical setting and a mysterious plot line.

In addition to Wisconsin, she has lived in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, England, New York City, Boston, and New Hampshire. She now lives in southern California, with her family of ...

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  • All Is Vanity jacket
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