"America, I think, is about poor people playing music and poor people sharing food and poor people dancing, even when everything else in their lives is so desperate and so dismal that it doesn't seem there should be any room for any music, any extra food, or any extra energy for dancing. And people can say that I'm wrong, that we're a puritanical people, an evangelical people, a selfish people, but I don't believe that. I don't want to believe that."
"It's all been worth it. Every fight, all those years of childish experimentation, the occasional heartbreak, the paltry checking account, the used, old trucks. To have lived with another human being, another person, this man, as long as I have and to see him change and grow."
This was an incredible book and I'm so glad that I picked it up! The book is essentially a love song to life - to friendships, to family, to love, to forgiveness, and to small-town rural Wisconsin.
Hank, Leland, Kip, and Ronny were all born and raised in the small Wisconsin town of Little Wig. They have been friends since as long as they remember. They each went their separate ways after high school, but they soon find themselves all back in town and husbands and fathers and still trying to figure out their place in the world. And then there's Beth, who plays a special part in each one of their lives. Shotgun Lovesongs is a truly remarkable book and a tribute to American live and is filled with rich storytelling and finding hope against all odds.
This description says it all: 'There is conflict here between longtime buddies, between husbands and wives — told with writing that is, frankly, gut-wrenching, and even heartbreaking. But there is also hope, healing, and at times, even heroism. It is strong, American stuff, not at all afraid of showing that we can be good, too — not just fallible and compromising. Shotgun Lovesongs is a remarkable and uncompromising saga that explores the age-old question of whether or not you can ever truly come home again — and the kind of steely faith and love returning requires.'
This book was #5 on my top ten list of 2015.
We read this for the January 2016 selection of the Germantown Community Library Adult Bookclub.