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Thursday April 24, 2014
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Charles Baxter

 

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persuaded them of our reality, they thought the town with the funny name might exist only in Baxter's fiction.

Baxter's new novel, Saul and Patsy, is a ghost story. There are the gentle humor and genuine characters we have come to expect in Baxter's novels, but this time there are also the scary, spooky elements necessary for a good ghost story, and an intentionally unresolved anxiety that keeps a reader troubled to the end.

Baxter first wrote about Saul and Patsy Bernstein twenty years ago in a short story, and they have since popped up once or twice in other places. He is obviously attracted to his idealistic young couple who move to Five Oaks, Michigan, a genuinely fictional town in the Saginaw River valley that Baxter has been populating in various stories for years. Saul is a high school teacher, and Patsy works part time as a loan officer in a local bank. In this novel they are beginning a family and buying a house.

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