Some connections survive by virtue of history, some by family, and others purely by chance. Such connections serve as the basis for Tudish's interlocking collection of stories that centers on the women in a small Pennsylvania river town. Tenney's Landing is a rural community, a place where lives intersect and closely held secrets are the exception rather than the rule. The main character in one story may be incidental in another, but they are inextricably bound by a shared place and time. In "Where the Devil Lost His Blanket," Elizabeth Tenney inherits the remains of neighbors she has barely known and fulfills their final wishes to be brought home to South America, where a chance encounter transforms her bizarre journey in ways she could never have foreseen. In "Dog Stories," a newly single mother and her two girls share rare moments of laughter and absurdity with a shy but accommodating stranger. And in "The Springhouse," an unhappily married young woman returns home and is surprised -- and dismayed -- but what she comes to learn about love.
Meticulously crafted and beautifully written, these are stories true to the individual and important moments in our lives, filled with a simple, timeless wisdom. Like the best chroniclers of small-town life, Tudish has created characters whose lives will resonate long after the last page is turned. (Fall 2005 Selection)