Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Tall Pine Polka by Lorna Landvik

image from LibraryThing

This is another great book!

I had read almost 400 pages. I had enjoyed the twists and turns of the plot. I thought I knew what to expect as the book was coming to a close and then.....I actually shouted "NO!!" I was so surprised by one sudden turn of events I couldn't be quiet!

That's what Landvik did for me in this story!

Fenny Ness is a stay at home, afraid of her shadow, twenty-something hidden away in the tiny Northern Minnesota town of Tall Pines. Fenny is surrounded by her good friends; Lee, the owner of the Cup'O Delight coffee shop, Slim, the barking bus boy/man overcoming the lingering remnants of Post Tramatic Stress Disorder, Frau Katte and Miss Penk the aging lesbian couple, Pete the shoe repairman who secretly runs a thriving mail-order business for handmade shoes, and the mayor. Each of these people works to fill the holes created by the sudden deaths of Fenny's parents. She is happy in this old lady life where everything is predictable and safe.

Into this cliched small town life a movie director is dropped, and Fenny is 'discovered.' Fenny becomes Inga, the fresh mail-order bride, ordered by Ike, a Minnesota lumberman. So, not only is Tall Pines over run with the film makers, but Fenny is also the reluctant star. Her no-nonsense charm washes over the actors, directors and the audience alike transforming a mundane little film into something as magical as the actual Tall Pines.

Midway though the story - Bill, a 1/2 Chippewa and 1/2 Hawaiian piano playing jack of all trades also drops into the scene and the real life in Tall Pines takes turn after turn for both Lee and Fenny.

In that real life there is a shooting ( the gun kind, not the film kind), a death, a birth, a marriage, and a couple of fights.

It's one of those books that could have stopped long before it did. I would have been satisfied, but longed for more. Instead, it rode out the turmoil and resolved itself in a way that only Landvik could.

This is a really good one!!! :)

1 comment:

Janet G said...

My cousin introduced me to this book and author a number of years ago. I love her writing. And I love your "reading list". thanks for sharing. Have a Happy Thanksgiving.