Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Sweet Hereafter by Russell Banks

In the Anarchist Library

A strangely haunting and affecting book that lingered with me long after the last page. The story of a town in the aftermath of a tragedy that takes most of their children (as did the Piper to Hamlin) seen through the eyes of an outsider, an insurance adjuster in town to assign responsibility for the calamity.

The story felt sweet and true and tragic. Full of that familiar feeling of wanting to hold someone, somewhere accountable for something that God in her infinite wisdom should not have let happen... yet knowing, in some sure and secret place that really, no one is to blame. Sometimes. Things. Just. Happen.

That is to say, blame and vengeance do not make bad things unhappen. Something I am slowly trying to learn in my lifetime. (Review by Wes, SubRosa staff)

Published by Vintage 1991

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