ON BEYOND 40
As promised, I dove right into my stack of library books this week, not content to rest on meeting my goal of 40 books read. At the top of the pile was Hartsburg, USA by David Mizner. I started it on Monday and read 36 pages and thought about abandoning it, as it covered some similar territory to The Abstinence Teacher. I picked it back up on Tuesday and read 80 pages or so, then 100 on Wednesday, and finally just over 140 last night. Obviously, I felt it was worth continuing.
It's the story of a school board race in the titular town (which is in Ohio). One candidate is Bevy Baer, running on a platform of good Christian values (she wants intelligent design taught in schools, homosexuality to not be mentioned, etc.); the other is Wallace Cormier, who is running on the fact that truths should be taught and religion should stay out of it. The novel is pretty balanced - each candidate's humanity, good and bad, comes out and we learn a lot about their families and other members of the town (the war in Iraq hangs heavy in the 2003 of the novel). Bevy has a past that comes back to haunt her in more ways than one and Wallace loses his way and stoops to low levels of campaigning.
It's a good book and serves as a reminder that people (red state or blue state) are people.