Iowa City Book Festival July 13, 14, & 15

by on July 5th, 2012
Iowa City Book Festival July 13, 14, & 15 Cover Image

The Iowa City Book Festival is just around the corner and I’m counting down the days! I am thoroughly enjoying Robert Goolrick’s new book, Heading out to Wonderful and look forward to hearing him speak at the Iowa City Book Festival!  Goolrick will speak in the Seamans Center Lobby at Noon on Saturday July 14.

I like Goolrick’s stories because he creates a strong sense of place and then weaves his characters into the story.  The story often builds to a climax, and there are hidden details that cause an undercurrent of suspense.  The plot turns in unexpected ways and characters are not always as they appear.  Chapters alternate between different points of view and the story develops on many levels depending on the character who is revealing the details.  Often Goolrick’s narrative raises to a higher level and it seems he is sharing wisdom about life as well as telling a story.

Heading out to Wonderful is set in a small town in Virginia in 1948.  World War II has just ended, the South is segregated, and small town communities are tight-knit.  Veteran Charlie Beale wheels into town and residents aren’t sure they can trust him.  He has a truck, two suitcases, and sleeps under his truck in a remote area near a stream.  Charlie gets a job at the local butcher shop and becomes acquainted with the people who shop there.  The aging butcher and his wife form a friendship with Charlie and their young son, Sam, adopts him as a second father.  Simultaneously, Charlie falls in love with Sylvan Glass, the eccentric teenage bride of the richest man in town.  Only Goolrick knows how the relationship between Sam, Charlie and Sylvan will evolve.  Heading out to Wonderful is a beautiful coming of age story about innocence, searching for happiness, and love gone wrong.  I’ll see you at the Iowa City Book Festival!

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