Set in a region of northern New Hampshire that for several years in the 1830s declared itself an independent nation, Joshua Harmon's debut novel traces the real and imagined travels of Martha Hennessy, a girl wishing for a life beyond her family's farm. In language as varied and musical as the Connecticut River the title invokes, Quinnehtukqut interweaves Martha's story with those of the dreamers and drifters whose lives intersect hers: an American soldier scarred by the first World War, a mythical and murderous tramp seeking lost Indian gold, a man haunted by his memories of Byrd's expeditions to Antarctica, an industrialist longing to become a woodsman, and an old woman forced to leave her home due to the planned flooding of a valley. Elegiac and lyrical, evocative and visionary, Quinnehtukqut reveals how people inhabit place and how place inhabits people through its vivid study of the New England landscape.
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