JOERN, PAMELA CARTER.
Title The Floor Of The Sky.
Book Condition Softcover. Brand new book.
Edition Flyover Fiction Series
Publisher University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln: 2006.
Seller ID 55395X2
In the Nebraska Sandhills, nothing is more sacred than the bond of family and land—and nothing is more capable of causing deep wounds. In Pamela Carter Joern's riveting novel The Floor of the Sky, Toby Jenkins, an aging widow, is on the verge of losing her family's ranch when her granddaughter Lila—a city girl, sixteen and pregnant—shows up for the summer. While facing painful decisions about her future, Lila uncovers festering secrets about her grandmother's past—discoveries that spur Toby to reconsider the ambiguous ties she holds to her embittered sister Gertie, her loyal ranch hand George, her not-so-sympathetic daughter Nola Jean, and ultimately, herself. Propelled by stark realism in breakneck prose, The Floor of the Sky reveals the inner worlds of characters isolated by geography and habit. Set against the sweeping changes in rural America—from the onslaught of corporate agribusiness to the pressures exerted by superstores on small towns—Joern's compelling story bears witness to the fortitude and hard-won wisdom of people whose lives have been forged by devotion to the land. Pamela Carter Joern is a widely published author whose work has appeared in South Dakota Review, Red Rock Review, Feminist Studies, and Minnesota Monthly. She is also the author of five professionally produced plays, the winner of a Tamarack Award in 2001, and the recipient of a Minnesota State Arts Board writing fellowship. "Playwright Joern's characters are as stern as the land, and the world of her debut novel is sturdy and memorable." —Publishers Weekly "[An] emotionally rich first novel about an unwed pregnant teen spending the summer with her grandmother in the hardscrabble Nebraska Sandhills. . . . [H]er visit stirs up long-simmering tensions for Toby, Toby's bitter sister Gertie and George, who has worked on the farm for more than 50 years. Seventy-two and long widowed, Toby is no fawning grandma. Tough but loving, she still rides her horse regularly and can work up a man's passions. . . . [George's] unspoken love makes for irresistible reading. . . . Think Paul Newman with Joanne Woodward. . . . A resonant love story, whatever the age of the lovers."—Kirkus Reviews "Joern intricately weaves together a compelling family saga and a beautifully rendered paean to the land her characters love and are struggling to preserve. . . . Joern's lyrical and painterly descriptions of the vast Sandhills are the perfect backdrop for this subtle drama."—Booklist "First novelist Joern is particularly skilled at depicting contemporary small-town life and the issues rural communities face: the difficulty small farmers and ranchers have staying afloat financially and the decision of younger generations either to leave for urban areas or to endure directionless lives. She packs a lot of story into 250 pages. . . . Essential for rural and regional public libraries."—Library Journal "The Floor of the Sky honors the pleasures and pitfalls of family without a shred of sentimentality. . . . [Joern] is a fine writer incapable of excess or artifice. Written in present tense, the book has an unintentionally cinematic quality. Its dialogue is varied and authentic. . . . A quiet little gem."—Pamela Miller, Minneapolis Star-Tribune "Like Haruf's Plainsong, Joern's novel also makes good use of the setting—the stark Nebraska Sandhills, a blank slate devoid of trees and rain but also, seemingly, of the types of mysteries and scandals that might complicate the lives of city-dwellers. . . . Joern's prose is as clean as her landscape, and she paces the novel well, unraveling, one at a time, the small mysteries that keep the story moving along."—Iron Horse Literary Review "Pamela Carter Joern writes with compassion and a wry sense of humor, in a direct and true style that takes in the vivid details of the world of the Nebraska Sandhills and the complexities and nuances of her characters' inner lives. Her work may bring to mind the novels of Kent Haruf and Larry McMurtry—though, like the fiercely independent women that populate her novel, Joern is clearly an original!"—Dan Chaon, author of You Remind Me of Me "A testimony to the power of family secrets and the enduring legacy of the land."—Mary Clearman Blew, author of Balsamroot: A Memoir "[Joern] is a fearless teller of hard truth. Set in the Sandhills of Nebraska, The Floor of the Sky is a tale of quiet heroics, a story of tenacity and courage, an intimate glimpse into the lives of independent ranchers determined to survive. A powerful portrayal of family, land, and loyalty. We are the wiser for having read it."—Sheila O'Connor, author of Where No Gods Came and Tokens of Grace "[Joern's] characters are sensible, endearing, and deeply haunted, and there's enough story and intrigue for ten novels. Secrets, old and new, keep the past constantly bumping into the present, making for a mesmerizing family saga."—Timothy Schaffert, author of The Singing and Dancing Daughters of God 2007 Nebraska Book Award, sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book, fiction category winner. 2007 Alex Award selection. 2006 Holiday Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection.
(Key Words: Novels, Nebraska Sandhills, Pamela Carter Joern, American West, Great Plains, Fiction, Ranches).