The Coffins of Little Hope by Timothy Schaffert

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Synopsis

Timothy Schaffert has created his most memorable character yet in Essie, an octogenarian obituary writer for her family’s small town newspaper. When a young country girl is reported to be missing, perhaps whisked away by an itinerant aerial photographer, Essie stumbles onto the story of her life. Or, it all could be simply a hoax, or a delusion, the child and child-thief invented from the desperate imagination of a lonely, lovelorn woman. Either way, the story of the girl reaches far and wide, igniting controversy, attracting curiosity-seekers and cult worshippers from all over the country to this dying rural town. And then it is revealed that the long awaited final book of an infamous series of YA gothic novels is being secretly printed on the newspaper’s presses.

The Coffins of Little Hope tells a feisty, energetic story of characters caught in the intricately woven webs of myth, legend and deception even as Schaffert explores with his typical exquisite care and sharp eye the fragility of childhood, the strength of family, the powerful rumor mills of rural America, and the sometimes dramatic effects of pop culture on the way we shape our world.
 

About Timothy Schaffert

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Timothy Schaffert is editor-in-chief of "The Reader," Omaha's alternative newsweekly.
 
Published May 1, 2011 by Unbridled Books. 271 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction, Humor & Entertainment, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Coffins of Little Hope

The New York Times

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Mr. Schaffert also throws in a minor plot thread about another writer: a revered, musty woman named Myrtle Kinglsey Finch who won the 1918 Pulitzer Prize for something called “The Ladies of the Katydids.” Finch aficionados, who sound more pious than the Lenore-stalkers and less frantic than the M...

Apr 13 2011 | Read Full Review of The Coffins of Little Hope

Publishers Weekly

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It's small town, big drama in Schaffert's sublime latest (after Devils in the Sugar Shop) as Essie Myles, an 83-year-old widowed obituary writer for a small Nebraska newspaper stumbles onto the story of her life.

Feb 28 2011 | Read Full Review of The Coffins of Little Hope

Examiner

Although the book is in first-person, Essie’s point of view, there are sections of the story that talk about things Essie could never know or see.

Feb 16 2011 | Read Full Review of The Coffins of Little Hope

Star Tribune

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A superbly crafted novel, shot through with wit and deeper truths about the nature of story and notoriety.

Apr 23 2011 | Read Full Review of The Coffins of Little Hope

Dallas News

Willa Cather enthusiasts who have made the trek to Red Cloud will enjoy Schaffert’s bits about the famous dead Nebraska writer Myrna Kingley Fitch, whose foundation has been “saving [her] dying rural town by killing it, inch by inch, and casting it in amber.” The Coffins of Little Hope is warm an...

May 27 2011 | Read Full Review of The Coffins of Little Hope

MostlyFiction Book Reviews

“And this very book began not as a book but as an obit of a kind for a little girl who up and went missing one simple summer day.

May 01 2011 | Read Full Review of The Coffins of Little Hope

Portland Book Review

Told from the perspective of Essie, Timothy Schaffert has created a poignant and heart-wrenching tale of life – individual life, the life of a family and the life of a town.

Sep 20 2011 | Read Full Review of The Coffins of Little Hope

Time Out Chicago

The narrator, Essie Myles, is the obituary writer for the local paper, and her grandson runs the printing press that will run off a portion of the book’s print run.

May 18 2011 | Read Full Review of The Coffins of Little Hope

ForeWord Reviews

Ess tries to help Doc cope with his unwanted job and losing Tiff, help Tiff adjust to an unexpected mother, and attempt to help the maybe-missing girl’s mother, Daisy, deal with paparazzi and cult-like celebrity.

Apr 28 2011 | Read Full Review of The Coffins of Little Hope

Pank Magazine

Daisy is another expertly rendered character, all feather –light and wilting, sequestered in the Crippled Eighty, the farm she inherited from her father, the farm she allegedly raised Lenore, the possible child, the possible victim, possibly stricken by hypergraphia, writing cramped little lines ...

Aug 19 2011 | Read Full Review of The Coffins of Little Hope

Reader Rating for The Coffins of Little Hope
73%

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