Summary and book reviews of Garner by Kirstin Allio

Garner

by Kirstin Allio

Garner by Kirstin Allio X
Garner by Kirstin Allio
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Paperback:
    Sep 2005, 232 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team
Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

It is 1925 and the New Hampshire town of Garner's economic prospects are in decline.  A group of young, wealthy New Yorkers arrive for summer leisure, but when the body of a spirited, illusive girl is found in the stream this deeply private community begins to unravel.

Garner, New Hampshire is a town delineated by its Puritan ethics and its "Live Free or Die" mentality. In 1925, Garner's economic prospects are in decline and a group of young, wealthy New Yorkers descend on Frances Giddens's family farm for summer leisure. As Frances, a spirited, elusive girl born at the dawn of the twentieth century, is drawn to the romance the newcomers represent, darker forces are unleashed. When her body is found in rain-swollen Blood Brook, this deeply private community begins to unravel. As the story unfolds, Allio's beautiful, atmospheric prose reveals the town's hidden history and the fierce longings locked in the hearts of its citizens.

Part 1: The Postman

1

1925 

The postman used the roads and the woods alike and bareheaded on a day that provided such weather. If he came upon Frances it was always she who saw him first and he who, knowing himself watched, was pleasantly startled. A tree became a girl, he allowed himself to wonder.

Today, the stream was full with a sudden rain after a dry spell but he was a man of all weathers. Perhaps this was how he came to be postman. He dressed for modesty and economy in the same layers June and January. In spring the mud was clean and deep so as could heal a wound and if the postman had ever put his mouth to a gash in a maple tree and sucked the sap he told no one.

At the edge he held a sapling for balance, put a hand in, dabbed his forehead.

At first he thought it was an odd reflection from a reddish leaf, or a brick-colored stone on the bottom. Then he leaned in closer and it was surely blood for it curled and sank through the water. He thought ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

I found the first third of the book (part of which you can browse at BookBrowse) hard to follow as it intersperses elements of the storyline with historical musings from the postman and various other characters. However, on finishing the second section (which is written in a more linear style) I went back and read some of the first part and felt I had a better grasp on the story. Overall, an interesting first novel from a writer to watch, and one that should be of special interest to anyone living in New Hampshire...continued

Full Review (158 words).

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.

(Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).

Media Reviews

The Believer
It is rare to feel so truly transported by a work of fiction. Therefore, at the risk of alliterative (and accolade) excess, I dub Garner a masterly, multi-voiced, mood-altering mystery--and a debut so wise, certain, and cleverly empathetic as to seem the work of a sure-footed pro.

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Allio's finely wrought writing - Frances has "a laugh of leaves," while Heald's wife muses that "the evening was what one married for" -- just barely overshadows a narrative that turns suspenseful in its final third.....an exceptional debut.

Author Blurb Rebecca Brown
Nathaniel Hawthorne knew all about what happens when an individual's obligations to history and community meet a repressed passion. In Kirstin Allio's strange, startling and beautifully written first novel, Hawthorne may have found a worthy 21st century heir to his dark, evocative fable-making about that most American of locations, New England.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

Kirstin Allio has taught creative writing at Brown University and holds degrees from Brown and New York Universities. Born in Maine, she lives in Providence, Rhode Island with her husband and sons. This is her first novel.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Read-alikes Full readalike results are for members only

More books by Kirstin Allio

If you liked Garner, try these:

  • The Truth of All Things jacket

    The Truth of All Things

    by Kieran Shields

    Published 2013

    About this book

    More by this author

    When newly appointed Deputy Marshal Archie Lean is called in to investigate a prostitute's murder in Portland, Maine, he's surprised to find the body laid out like a pentagram and pinned to the earth with a pitchfork. He's even more surprised to learn that this death by "sticking" is a traditional method of killing a witch...

  • Cloud Sketcher jacket

    Cloud Sketcher

    by Richard Rayner

    Published 2002

    About this book

    More by this author

    A transforming journey into the heart of beauty and the peril of love, a romantic, lyrical epic that resurrects history with great authenticity and drama.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search read-alikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Find out more


Today's Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Yonder
    Yonder
    by Jabari Asim
    The captivating historical novel Yonder turns an intimate lens towards the tragedy and survivorship ...
  • Book Jacket: Churchill's Shadow
    Churchill's Shadow
    by Geoffrey Wheatcroft
    Another book about Winston Churchill? Even with the astronomical number of titles written about the ...
  • Book Jacket: 1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows
    1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows
    by Ai Weiwei
    Ai Weiwei is such an influential and innovative artist and activist that a memoir focused purely on ...
  • Book Jacket: Honor
    Honor
    by Thrity Umrigar
    First Impressions readers enjoyed being transported to India via Thrity Umrigar's novel Honor, with ...

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
My Broken Language
by Quiara Alegría Hudes
A Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright tells her lyrical coming of age story in a sprawling Puerto Rican family.

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Free
    by Lea Ypi

    "Nothing short of a masterpiece."
    Publishers Weekly

  • Book Jacket

    The Paris Bookseller
    by Kerri Maher

    How a humble bookseller fought incredible odds to bring one of the 20th century's most important books to the world.

Who Said...

I like a thin book because it will steady a table...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

A P O B Y Houses

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.