Last week, I recommended Connie Schultz’s 2007 book …and His Lovely Wife, a memoir of her time as a political candidate’s wife. This week, I am excited to share about The Daughters of Erietown, Schultz’s first novel. For those who don’t know or remember, Connie Schultz was a journalist and columnist for many years at our very own Plain Dealer. Her columns won a Pulitzer Prize in 2003. I was lucky to get an advance copy of the book before it is released officially on June 9th! I hope you enjoy hearing about it!
It’s 1957 in northeast Ohio. Ellie, who was raised by her grandparents, and Brick, who was abused by his alcoholic father, are seniors in high school looking forward to their futures. Ellie plans to go to nursing school and basketball star Brick plans to be the first in his family to attend college. When Ellie gets pregnant, though, the pair’s dreams are left behind. The young couple marries and Brick finds a union job at the local power company. When Brick is unfaithful, he is unaware another child is born. The little boy, who looks just like his dad, and his mother show up at Brick and Ellie’s home.
I don’t want to give too much of the story away. However the novel follows Brick and Ellie through the decades along with their two children.
It’s a novel to be enjoyed. Kirkus Reviews, which has a reputation for not mincing words when it doesn’t care for a book, described it as a “masterful debut novel.” I can’t help but agree.