Bowlaway  (paperback)
Contributor(s): McCracken, Elizabeth (Author)

Publisher Marketing:

A sweeping and enchanting new novel from the widely beloved, award-winning author Elizabeth McCracken about three generations of an unconventional New England family who own and operate a candlepin bowling alley

From the day she is discovered unconscious in a New England cemetery at the turn of the twentieth century--nothing but a bowling ball, a candlepin, and fifteen pounds of gold on her person--Bertha Truitt is an enigma to everyone in Salford, Massachusetts. She has no past to speak of, or at least none she is willing to reveal, and her mysterious origin scandalizes and intrigues the townspeople, as does her choice to marry and start a family with Leviticus Sprague, the doctor who revived her. But Bertha is plucky, tenacious, and entrepreneurial, and the bowling alley she opens quickly becomes Salford's most defining landmark--with Bertha its most notable resident.

Review Quotes:

"A story equal parts sorrow and wonder, magical realism and cold, hard reality.... McCracken's gift is to deliver that pain wrapped in astounding sentences and characters who leap off the page.... The book is best read pen in hand, ready to underline standout sentences." --Texas Observer

"Every now and then, a novel reinvents the language of storytelling in dazzling ways.... A comic marvel... The master stylist uses the offbeat lilt of fairy tales to spin a quintessentially New England saga.... Rolls a strike right through the heart of the American epic."--O, the Oprah Magazine

"Whimsical, enchanting.... The sort of novel with which you fall in love.... Every page seems to provide the kind of writing that makes a reader stop cold, savoring the moment.... [ Bowlaway] takes your hand and hurries you into an inviting, curious world, leaving you happily bereft at its end."--Seattle Times

"Elizabeth McCracken marries the everyday with the otherworldly. Her electrifying voice brings to life a cast of bizarre characters who lean on, help and flee one another.... Heartbreaking and beautiful.... Bowlaway is an epic of the wins and losses that make up the average life."--Paste Magazine

"Wildly entertaining... [A] wonderfully unpredictable multi-generational saga which revolves around a Massachusetts bowling alley.... Bowlaway celebrates the oddest of oddballs and the freakiest of freak accidents with wit and heart. To read McCracken's inimitably clever sentences and follow her quirky narrative twists is to be constantly delighted."--NPR

"McCracken's newest novel, a 20th-century family epic centered on candlepin bowling, is populated by strange, excellent characters, and unfolds with all the offbeat coziness and heartache of a great American fable: molasses floods, workplace fires, surprising heirs, and all."--Vanity Fair

"McCracken's delightful prose and rich historical details make this the perfect book to get lost in."--Real Simple