The Comfort of Our Kind

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Macmillan, Mar 18, 2008 - Fiction - 328 pages
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Situated between two mountain ridges, the New England town of Franklin Notch celebrates its history and the characters who have forged it. The cornerstone of its heritage is Talbert’s Treaty, an eighteenth-century agreement between the original settlers and the Sagaweh Indian nation---as discovered by local historian Wes Moffatt, ex-host of a regionally famous kiddie TV show. The Comfort of Our Kind is narrated by Daniel “Boone” Moffatt, Wes’s oldest son and local chief of police, who describes life with his sister, Veronica, a misanthropic nurse with a weakness for Xanax; his brother, Reggie, a disgraced sportscaster who has been living undetected in Cinderella’s Castle; his mother, a mystic ex-nun (who everyone still calls “Sister”); and his father, who has just been accused of inventing bad history by concocting Talbert’s Treaty and most of the local lore.
As children, Boone, Veronica, and Reggie were trained by their mother’s puzzling bedtime stories to serve in God’s Army of Saints and “fight for Goodness on earth.” Now, as adults, they search for their gifts of Faith, Hope, and Grace in a parade of life-altering adventures while struggling with the presence of evil in the world. Along the way, they collide with a collection of characters, including a serial killer, a Zenlike naturalist doctor, a genius Mafia princess, phony Native Americans, and the Devil himself in various incarnations of human vanity. Against the deadline of Wes and Sister’s fiftieth wedding anniversary and Boone’s apocalyptic seventh visit from the Devil, the Moffatt family struggles to unite as a force of goodness and to reclaim the respect of their neighbors and friends.
Reminiscent of Lake Wobegon Days and The Witches of Eastwick, The Comfort of Our Kind is an unpredictable, quirky tale in which each character’s spirituality is tested in the overlay between earthy mysticism and raucous fantasy.

Praise for The Comfort of Our Kind:

“This fun debut novel by story writer Stoner chronicles the tribulations of a family caught in a war between good and evil in Franklin Notch, N.H. Stoner’s storytelling has a lot of Wes Anderson elements and should find a readership among those into the folksy, absurd and poignant.”
--Publishers Weekly

"A comic tale of a New England family battling personal weakness and the Devil….Stoner’s characters are appealing, and the multiple subplots will hold readers’ interest…amicable mix of comedy, mysticism and earnest spirituality."
--Kirkus Reviews 

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User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A comic tale of a New England family battling personal weakness and the Devil, the debut novel from short-story author Stoner.Sister, an orphan raised by nuns to become a nun, is led by divine visions ... Read full review

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About the author (2008)

Tom Stoner is a cofounder of the TKF Foundation. He has served as chairman of the board of trustees of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and as cofounder of the Conflict Resolution Clinic associated with George Mason University. He also cofounded American Radio Systems. Tom lives in Annapolis, Maryland and Stowe, Vermont.

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