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Author Jason Heit describes his work as a “novel in stories.” Some characters dovetail throughout the book while others appear in one or two stories. Together, these tales of grit and indomitable will give the reader various points-of-view into a small, close-knit community that is bound by heritage, a common language, and faith — yet is rife with ambition, fear, and envy.
The first story is a bitter feud between two men over plots of land, a conflict that is just one of the dark undercurrents of stress that drive the motivations and actions of the settlers. In one story a nasty quarrel ensues between one man and his brother-in-law over the in-law’s treatment of his wife. The strain of isolation, bouts of loneliness, and suspicions of domestic violence pervade this tale.
One story reveals that a woman has unknowingly married the man who raped her. Another begins with a festive community picnic until jealousy and rivalry emerge as events unfold.
The final chapter centers on a card game amongst the surviving principal characters where a long-standing grudge is tragically put to rest. They are now the settlement’s elders and despite the tragedies, the vendettas, and the resentments, they are still a community.