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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
Schaffert's disarming second novel is a quirky yet tenderhearted tale of families broken apart, and families that can't seem to come back together. The narrative spins around Hud Smith, a ne'er-do-well who spends his time running between his three part-time jobs: school bus driver, country/western songwriter, and hotel bar crooner. A sad sack with a charm all his own, Hud's still in love with his ex-wife, Tuesday, and remains devoted to their eight-year-old daughter.
Once a happy couple, Hud and Tuesday broke up when their teenage son, Gatling, ran off to join a band of traveling Christian musicians. Although he won't admit it, Hud believes that if he can find Gatling and bring him home, they can be all be a family once again.
The Singing and Dancing Daughters of God showcases Schaffert's uncanny talent for combining the mystical and the realistic. Set in modern-day Nebraska, it nonetheless has a dreamlike quality, reminiscent of both a religious conversion and an alcoholic stupor at the same time. A novel that feels bigger than its loveable characters, this is an evocative story of families and sadness that's as old as the hills and as contemporary as today. (Spring 2006 Selection)