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Virgil Wander
by Leif Enger

Published: 2018-10-02
Hardcover : 352 pages
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26 clubs reading this now
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The first novel in ten years from award-winning, million-copy bestselling author Leif Enger, Virgil Wander is an enchanting and timeless all-American story that follows the inhabitants of a small Midwestern town in their quest to revive its flagging heart

Midwestern movie house owner ...
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Introduction

The first novel in ten years from award-winning, million-copy bestselling author Leif Enger, Virgil Wander is an enchanting and timeless all-American story that follows the inhabitants of a small Midwestern town in their quest to revive its flagging heart

Midwestern movie house owner Virgil Wander is “cruising along at medium altitude” when his car flies off the road into icy Lake Superior. Virgil survives but his language and memory are altered and he emerges into a world no longer familiar to him. Awakening in this new life, Virgil begins to piece together his personal history and the lore of his broken town, with the help of a cast of affable and curious locals?from Rune, a twinkling, pipe-smoking, kite-flying stranger investigating the mystery of his disappeared son; to Nadine, the reserved, enchanting wife of the vanished man, to Tom, a journalist and Virgil’s oldest friend; and various members of the Pea family who must confront tragedies of their own. Into this community returns a shimmering prodigal son who may hold the key to reviving their town.

With intelligent humor and captivating whimsy, Leif Enger conjures a remarkable portrait of a region and its residents, who, for reasons of choice or circumstance, never made it out of their defunct industrial district. Carried aloft by quotidian pleasures including movies, fishing, necking in parked cars, playing baseball and falling in love, Virgil Wander is a swift, full journey into the heart and heartache of an often overlooked American Upper Midwest by a “formidably gifted” (Chicago Tribune) master storyteller.

Editorial Review

An Amazon Best Book of October 2018: Leif Enger’s latest could easily veer into saccharine territory. It’s an endearing yarn, set in a sleepy town near Lake Superior, inhabited by a quirky cast of characters (and even quirkier raccoon and sturgeon). But you quickly discover that all is not quiet on the Midwestern front: The town is in decline; the novel’s namesake has just been in a harrowing car crash; an enigmatic kite enthusiast arrives, searching for his missing son; and, unbeknownst to all, a heartbroken handyman has embarked on a sinister project….Not everyone’s story has a happy ending, but Virgil Wander reminds us that there is hope, that small acts of kindness aren’t small at all and—coupled with the contagious joy of flying a kite—they have the power to turn a flagging town’s frown upside down (something that reading Virgil Wander will do for you). —Erin Kodicek, Amazon Book Review

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by ebach (see profile) 01/21/20

VIRGIL WANDER is about inhabitants of Greenstone, Minnesota and about Greenstone, itself, narrated by Virgil Wander. While it is a novel, I wouldn’t call it so much a story as stories abou... (read more)

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