June 2023 Indie Next List
“This beautiful picture of life and love in rural Maine kept me engaged from the first page to the last. The sense of place was as strong as the characters’ connections. A book you don’t want to finish because you don’t want to say goodbye.”
— Terri Schurz, Mockingbird Bookshop, Bath, ME
From debut author Shannon Bowring comes a novel of small town America that Pulitzer-winner Richard Russo calls, "measured, wise, and beautiful."
In most small towns, the private is also public. In the town of Dalton, one local makes an unthinkable decision that leaves the community reeling. In the aftermath, their problems, both small and large, reveal a deeper understanding of the lives of their neighbors, and remind us all that no one is exactly who we think they are.
It's 1990. In Dalton, Maine, life goes on. Rose goes to work at the diner every day, her bruises hidden from both the customers and her two young boys. At a table she waits, Dr. Richard Haskell looks back on the one choice that's charted his entire life, before his thoughts wander back to his wife, Trudy, and her best friend.
Trudy and Bev have been friends for longer than they can count, and something more than lovers to each other for some time now--a fact both accepted and ignored by their husbands. Across town, new mother Bridget lives with her high school sweetheart Nate, and is struggling with postpartum after a traumatic birth. And nearer still is teenager Greg, trying to define the complicated feelings he has about himself and his two close friends.
The Road to Dalton offers valuable understandings of what it means to be alive in the world--of pain and joy, conflict and love, and the endurance that comes from living.