The New York Times has said that "few writers can manipulate a plot with [his] grace and power," and the Boston Globe has called him "a master novelist." Now Chris Bohjalian, bestselling author of Midwives and The Buffalo Soldier, offers an exploration of life in a very small town: a collection of his magazine essays and newspaper columns about the lessons he has learned as an urban refugee in rural Vermont, in the sort of gloriously quirky little village that we thought was long vanished. In March 1986, while living in Brooklyn, Chris Bohjalian and his wife were cab-napped on a Saturday night and taken on a forty-five-minute joy ride in which the driver ignored all traffic lights and stop signs. Around midnight he deposited the young couple on a near-deserted street, where police officers were about to storm a crack house. Bohjalian and his wife were told to hit the ground for their own protection. While lying on the pavement, Bohjalian's wife suggested that perhaps it was time to move to New England. Months later they traded in their co-op in Brooklyn for a century-old Victorian house in Lincoln, Vermont (population 975), and Bohjalian began chronicling life in that town in a wide variety of magazine essays and in his newspaper column, "Idyll Banter." These pieces, written weekly for twelve years and collected here for the first time, serve as a diary of both this writer's life and how America has been transformed in the last decade. Rich with idiosyncratic universals that come with being a parent, a child, and a spouse, Chris Bohjalian's personal observations are a reflection of our own common experience.