A Stranger in the Kingdom: A Novel

A Stranger in the Kingdom: A Novel

4.2 9
by Howard Frank Mosher
     
 

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Howard Frank Mosher has earned both critical acclaim and a wide readership for his vivid historical portraits of northern New England residents in his fictional Kingdom County, Vermont. A Stranger in the Kingdom tells the unforgettable story of a brutal murder in a small town and the devastating events that follow. The town’s new preacher, a black man, finds…  See more details below

Overview


Howard Frank Mosher has earned both critical acclaim and a wide readership for his vivid historical portraits of northern New England residents in his fictional Kingdom County, Vermont. A Stranger in the Kingdom tells the unforgettable story of a brutal murder in a small town and the devastating events that follow. The town’s new preacher, a black man, finds himself on trial more for who he is than for what he might have done in this powerful drama of passion, prejudice, and innocence suddenly lost . . . and perhaps found again.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Set in northern Vermont in 1952, Mosher's ( Disappearances ) tale of racism and murder is powerful, viscerally affecting and totally contemporary in its exposure of deep-seated prejudice and intolerance. In this big, old-fashioned novel, the calm of Kingdom County is shattered when a high-spirited French-Canadian runaway is shot to death, and the black Presbyterian minister in whose home she took refuge is charged with killing her to conceal the alleged fact that he made her pregnant. Narrator Jim Kinneson, a high schooler whose tough dad runs the local newspaper, is almost painfully naive about racism, and the very leisurely pace, combined with the gossipy, small-town flavor, dampens the reader's interest for the first half of the book. But Walt Andrews, the wry, articulate minister, an ex-Olympic athlete and widower, is one of the most believable characters in recent memory, and the courtroom trial, which runs for nearly 100 pages, is highly dramatic. To get Andrews off the hook, Jim's inexperienced lawyer-brother must find the real murderer. A related puzzle, which involves a skeleton in the Kinneson family closet, pulls the loose ends together a bit too neatly. Film rights to United Artists; major ad/promo. (Oct.)
Library Journal
It's 1952, and Kingdom County, Vermont is an old-fashioned rural community. Thirteen year-old Jim Kinnison is about to learn some painful lessons about small-town life. When the new Presbyterian minister turns out to be a black man, both he and his son encounter some prejudice. Then a young woman who has taken refuge in the parsonage is murdered, and the minister is framed. The details of country life and colorful peripheral characters such as the Dog Cart Man and Cousins Resolved and Welcome enliven a story in the tradition of, but not as powerful as, To Kill a Mockingbird . The man at the center of the novel, Reverend Walt Andrews, seems a stick figure rather than a fully realized character. Mosher does a better job with Nat, the reverend's son. Although it is a little stilted and slow in places, this novel should find a readership.-- Janet Boyarin Blundell, Brookdale Community Coll., Lincroft, N.J.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780618240104
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
09/28/2002
Edition description:
None
Pages:
432
Sales rank:
462,619
Product dimensions:
8.08(w) x 5.52(h) x 1.06(d)

What People are saying about this

Wallace Stegner
Exciting and memorable...Howard Frank Mosher has made a small town story into a universal one. He has filled it with memorable people and carried us along in a rolling wave of suspense. And, best of all, he has not lost his small town...it is rich with local lore and local character.

Meet the Author


HOWARD FRANK MOSHER is the author of ten books, including Waiting for Teddy Williams, The True Account, and A Stranger in the Kingdom, which, along with Disappearances, was corecipient of the New England Book Award for fiction. He lives in Vermont.

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