Better Food for a Better World: A Novel

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Wipf and Stock Publishers, Mar 1, 2013 - Fiction - 268 pages
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Ideals and reality collide when six college friends band together to start an ice cream store, promising "Better Food for a Better World," but finding a worse world than they had expected.

It seems like a great idea: six friends from college pool their money and energy to start an ice cream store. Natural High Ice Cream: Better Food for a Better World. It's high-minded, with a wink, like the marital self-help group they all belong to. The store finds a ready clientele in its northern California college town filled with amiable ex-hippies who are happy to contribute to a better world, even if all they have to contribute is the price of an ice cream cone.

But the store, like the marriage group, turns out to be work, not fun, and rifts start to appear between the friends. Nancy, who had seemed so easygoing and sweetly sexy when they started, turns stern. Cecilia, who had wanted to be a musician, is openly bored. And flighty, excitable Vivy is crawling out of her skin. She yearns for the old days, before Natural High, when she and her husband Sam traveled around the country with countercultural musicians and dancers. She'd give anything to have those days back again.

And so quietly, without telling the partners, she starts to rev up the old company, contacting her old acts--the fat contortionist, the muscle-bound juggler. She's going to save them all, and Natural High, too. But saving turns out to be harder than it looks, and Vivy isn't the only one with secrets.
 

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Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
20
Section 3
34
Section 4
37
Section 5
53
Section 6
67
Section 7
69
Section 8
86
Section 12
129
Section 13
130
Section 14
144
Section 15
158
Section 16
173
Section 17
175
Section 18
189
Section 19
204

Section 9
101
Section 10
104
Section 11
119
Section 20
206
Section 21
219

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About the author (2013)

Erin McGraw is the author of five earlier books, the novels The Seamstress of Hollywood Boulevard and The Baby Tree, and the story collections The Good Life, Lies of the Saints, and Bodies at Sea. Her stories and essays have appeared in The Atlantic, Good Housekeeping, The Kenyon Review, Allure, Image, The Southern Review, STORY, The Georgia Review, and many other journals and magazines. She has taught at DePauw University and the University of Cincinnati, and currently teaches at the Ohio State University with her husband, the poet Andrew Hudgins. They divide their time between Ohio and Sewanee, Tennessee.

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