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Grand Opening
     

Grand Opening

5.0 1
by Jon Hassler
 

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Twelve-year old Brendan tells the story, set in 1944-45, that begins with his parents' decision to buy a run-down grocery store in a tiny Minnesota town. What they discover about small town idealism, bigotry, and good old American values will change them and the town forever....

"A writer good enough to restore your faith in fiction."

THE NEW YORK TIMES

Overview

Twelve-year old Brendan tells the story, set in 1944-45, that begins with his parents' decision to buy a run-down grocery store in a tiny Minnesota town. What they discover about small town idealism, bigotry, and good old American values will change them and the town forever....

"A writer good enough to restore your faith in fiction."

THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

From the Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
As if retrieved from a time capsule, Hassler's fifth novel faithfully evokes a dark vision of Midwestern small-town life in 1944. The Foster familyCatherine, Hank, their 12-year-old son, Brendan, and Catherine's elderly fatherare urging a 1928 De Soto toward the town of Plum, Minn., and a time-honored American Dream: ownership of a business (they have purchased a dilapidated grocery store), a home and a sense of belonging. But Plum turns out to be a lemon; sour in spirit, pitted with religious bias and general mistrust. Hank's store is patronized only by Catholics like himself; the Lutheran trade is taken by a Lutheran competitor. When Catherine attempts to comfort an employee who's having an epileptic seizure, rumors circulate that they are having an affair. Even Brendan is forced into a quest for moral certainties when he befriends the town's pariah. Though much of this book may be overly familiar to older readers, it may edify younger ones of late exposed to quantities of literature extolling those not-so-good old days. (May 29)
Library Journal
The year is 1944, and Hank and Catherine Foster have packed up their belongings, a 12-year-old son, and his 80-year-old grandfather and moved to Plum, Minnesota. Unaccustomed to life in a small town, they struggle to establish a successful supermarket while adjusting to the close-minded townspeople and their religious bigotry. Their son adapts more naively. Eventually his unwitting association with a young thief, Dodger, teaches him a painful lesson about life. The author creates a town of colorful, if petty, characters, though none so eminently likable as Dodger; the reader aches for this awkward and lonely boy, so desperately in need of acceptance. This tale of moral awakening will appeal to teenage as well as adult readers, making it a good choice for public libraries. Kimberly G. Allen, Supreme Court Lib., Washington, D.C.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780345410177
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/28/1996
Edition description:
Reissue
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
5.47(w) x 8.26(h) x 0.70(d)

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Grand Opening 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Grand Opening' views one family's move to a Minnesota small town and their attempt to make a go of a ramshackle grocery store. The novel is set during the waning days of WWII and is told in third person through the eyes of the 12-year-old son. Hassler's writing style is graceful, yet economical; his insights into small town life are dead-on. Without giving the plot away, there is more to this Lutheran 'Mayberry' than meets the eye! Try it; you won't go away disappointed. For that matter, Hassler's writings are all good, and he has a large and growing list of novels. Don't trivialize him just because he comes from Minnesota. Would you do that for Faulkner and Mississippi?