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A Publishers Weekly Best Book

Jack Lambeau is the prodigal son returned home to Lakeland, New York; the Ivy-League educated architectural visionary brought home to reinvent the dying port town and smooth over its self imposed scars. His friend, Steven Turner is the Brooklyn-born local reporter who will bear witness to the city's successes and failures. Between them come Jack's beautiful fiancee Anne--an artist with secrets of her own - and his undisciplined brother Harris, hired by Jack to remove the suspicious barrels of waste from Lakeland's broken heart.

As the town struggles to find a new identity, these four characters must find their way through their own unexpected transformations and along the way attempt to answer the questions that plague us all: what is the price of loyalty, filialty, goodness and love?

About Tom Barbash

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Tom Barbash's fiction has appeared in Tin House, Story, Virginia Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. He is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and Stanford University, where he now teaches. He is also the author of On Top of the World.
Published September 1, 2003 by Picador. 456 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Jack grew up in Lakeland but was glad to get out and study architecture at Brown, though after graduation he found that all he could do in Manhattan was work on penny-ante zoning projects.

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Publishers Weekly

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The novel shuttles between Lambeau's compromises with the mayor, Turner's ethical dilemma and Anne's creative and spiritual ennui, all explored in clipped, hard-boiled prose with a dash of black humor ("[Turner] banged out his daily like a good soldier and then his Sunday feature, a fluff-puff ab...

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