Wednesday, November 16, 2022

A Thanksgiving Suggestion

If your plans for Thanksgiving don't involve hours of cooking and you expect to have some time to yourself, here's a recommendation: spend the holiday reading Charlie Suisman's book Arnold Falls. 

The novel is set in a small town in upstate New York, in the season of the year leading up to Thanksgiving. It spoils nothing to reveal that the story ends on Thanksgiving Day, making it the perfect read for the holiday. You can read it in the morning and early afternoon, before dinner, and in the evening, after dinner, as an alternative to a tryptophan-induced nap. One thing that the book guarantees, which isn't always the case with Thanksgiving gatherings, is that you will spend several pleasant, tension free hours in the company of an ensemble of quirky and amusing characters.

Charlie Suisman used to live in Hudson, and that makes this book particularly appealing for us Hudsonians. It is not exactly a 
roman à clef, but it's pure delight to match up characters and events in the story with the people and situations in Hudson that inspired them. Figuring in the story, for example, are a proposal to site a tire factory on the town's waterfront and the struggle to preserve the town's oldest house, "the Dutch House," built in 1795.   

Reviewers have noted variously that Arnold Falls has "shades of Richard Russo and T. C. Boyle" and "tips its hat to Armistead Maupin and P. G. Wodehouse." In my opinion, it is one of the most entertaining books inspired by Hudson I have read since I first read Alice B. Neal's 1848 novel, The Gossips of Rivertown.

You can get a copy of Arnold Falls from Spotty Dog Books & Ale or from Amazon

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