Acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Haigh returns to the Pennsylvania town at the center of her iconic novel Baker Towers in this ambitious, achingly human story of modern America and the conflicting forces at its heart—a bold, moving drama of hope and desperation, greed and power, big business and small-town families.
Forty years ago, Bakerton coal fueled the country. Then the mines closed, and the town wore away like a bar of soap. Now Bakerton has been granted a surprise third act: it sits squarely atop the Marcellus Shale, a massive deposit of natural gas.
To drill or not to drill? Prison guard Rich Devlin leases his mineral rights to finance his dream of farming. He doesn’t count on the truck traffic and nonstop noise, his brother’s skepticism or the paranoia of his wife, Shelby, who insists the water smells strange and is poisoning their frail daughter. Meanwhile his neighbors, organic dairy farmers Mack and Rena, hold out against the drilling—until a passionate environmental activist disrupts their lives.
Told through a cast of characters whose lives are increasingly bound by the opposing interests that underpin the national debate, Heat and Light depicts a community blessed and cursed by its natural resources. Soaring and ambitious, it zooms from drill rig to shareholders’ meeting to the Three Mile Island nuclear reactor to the ruined landscape of the “strippins,” haunting reminders of Pennsylvania’s past energy booms. This is a dispatch from a forgotten America—a work of searing moral clarity from one of the finest writers of her generation, a courageous and necessary book.
|Product dimensions:||5.20(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.40(d)|
About the Author
Jennifer Haigh is the author of the short-story collection News from Heaven and four critically acclaimed novels: Faith, The Condition, Baker Towers, and Mrs. Kimble. Her books have won both the PEN/Hemingway Award for debut fiction and the PEN/L.L. Winship Award for work by a New England writer. Her short fiction has been published widely, in The Atlantic, Granta, The Best American Short Stories, and many other places. She lives in Boston.
Date of Birth:October 16, 1968
Place of Birth:Barnesboro, Pennsylvania
Education:B.A., Dickinson College, 1990; M.F.A., Iowa Writers' Workshop, 2002
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Well done story about a community and the effects fracking has on it whether they leased their land or not. A very timely book especially where I live. So much that happens in the book is happening here and knowing people who have leased their land to the companies doing the fracking, I see the same thing happening here. These are good characters. I liked the storylines for each of them. I wish Jess' would have ended better. I did not like Kip and his cronies. As long as the money was coming in, they never questioned or reined in Kip. I liked Rich's introspection as the end. Excellent reading. Worth your time.
I have other books by the author and really enjoyed them. This book had too many loose ends. Ms. Haigh seemed to be all over the place. She needed to stick to the main characters and the impact of the issue of fracking. She had lesbians, possible transgender, substance abusers, a female minister having an affair with an oil worker, a dishonest oil man and the list goes on and on. Oh there is even suspicion of a mother inducing illnesses with her child (Muchaussin). There were side stories that distracted from the story. Where were her editors?