Jewelweed: A Novel
, 2013 - Fiction
- 449 pages
The beloved author of Driftless delves into the heart of rural America in this unforgettable portrait of community.
When David Rhodes burst onto the American literary scene in the '70s, he was hailed as “a brilliant visionary” (John Gardner). In Driftless, his “most accomplished work yet” (Joseph Kanon), Rhodes made Words, Wisconsin, resonate with readers across the country. Now with Jewelweed this beloved author returns to the same out-of-the-way community and introduces a cast of characters who must overcome the burdens left by the past. After serving time for a dubious conviction, Blake Bookchester is paroled. As Blake attempts to adjust, he reconnects with Danielle Workhouse, a single mother whose son, Ivan, explores the woods with his precocious friend, August. While Danielle goes to work for Buck and Amy Roebuck in their mansion, Ivan and August befriend Lester Mortal, a recluse who lives in a melon field; a wild boy; and a bat, Milton. These characters — each flawed, deeply human, and ultimately universal — approach the future with a combination of hope and trepidation. Jewelweed offers a vision in which the ordinary becomes mythical, the seemingly mundane transformed into revelatory beauty.