Click for Ann Arbor, Michigan Forecast
Thursday May 25, 2017
Follow us: facebook twitter RSS feed
Print Comment E-mail

Joan Blos

 

continued

The "corrugated castle" of the title refers to a prefabricated metal house — apparently a fairly common construction during the first rapid development of San Francisco — where Eldora finds herself living with a kindly older couple after the presumed death of her parents. The "uncle" is an idealistic New Englander trying to create a school in the West modeled on utopian examples from transcendentalist Massachusetts. Into this house, drawn by the generous spirit of its inhabitants, come miners, journalists, travelers from — yes — Michigan, and children from the neighboring Spanish-speaking parts of the burgeoning city. But Eldora is also reintroduced to the mother she thought had vanished, who takes her off to explore more rural parts of the new state.

And here, as Eldora attempts to create a relationship with the woman from her past while maintaining connections with the people who have supported her for many years, the novel finds its tension and its emotion. As Eldora reveals herself through her letters, we are drawn into her world and learn to respect her intelligence and her generosity. Blos's novel contains a lovely historical vision, but it is also a view of Americans resisting prejudice and learning to live with each other during moments that might otherwise seem governed by greed and its resulting inhumanity. Her triumph is that she can do this and keep us fascinated by the emotions and development of the young woman who tells her story.

Joan Blos reads from Letters from the Corrugated Castle at Shaman Drum Bookshop on Wednesday, May 16.

Bookmark and Share
previous  ·  1 l 2 l 3 l 4  ·  next page
all on one page
read more stories here -> Marketplace  l  Culture  l  Community  l  News

You might also like:

Health Care - Sexually Transmitted Diseases
DakhaBrakha
Childlike freedom
Sandor Slomovits
Jefferson Market?
Question Corner: April 2017
Tim Athan
Calling All Townies
What's that number?
Sally Mitani
Brew & Chew
A wine store reinvented at Plymouth Mall
Patti Smith
To Sell or Not to Sell?
It's decision time for the Library Lot.
James Leonard
Parking
Restaurants with Alcohol Served
A clickable zoomable map
Schools Millage
On May 2, the AAPS will ask voters to extend and expand the schools' sinking fund.
James Leonard
Inexpensive Hotels
Grillin' 2017 June 11th, 3-8pm - Ann Arbor MI
Victors for art at the university of Michigan Museum of art
Grieve Well Kite Festival June 17th 2017