In The Distancers , seven generations worth of joy and heartache is artfully forged into a family portrait that is at once universally American yet singularly Lee Sandlin's own. From the nineteenth century German immigrants who settled on a small Midwestern farm, to the proud and upright aunts and uncles with whom Sandlin spent the summers of his youth, a whole history of quiet ambition and stoic pride--of successes, failures, and above all endurance--leaps off the page in a sweeping American family epic. Touching on The Great Depression, WWII, and the American immigrant experience, the uses of proper manners, , The Distancers is a beautiful and stark Midwestern drama, about a time and place long since vanished, where the author learned the value of family and the art of keeping one's distance.
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"Chris Henry Coffey lends his masculine all-American voice to this account of seven generations of a family in AmericaOs Heartland. Lee Sandlin begins this family memoir with his colorful German ancestors, who immigrated to the Midwest in 1850 to establish a hotel and brewery. Coffey delivers the narrative with a straightforward tone that illustrates the stoicism of SandlinOs relations, adding an occasional lightheartedness to demonstrate the familyOs more unusual characters. Amateur ham radio operators in the middle of the twentieth century, including one of SandlinOs uncles, informally competed for the most far-flung signal. They called themselves distancers, but the name could also apply to the people in the authorOs family, who meticulously distanced themselves from each other, even when living together for decades. N.M.C. © AudioFile 2014, Portland, Maine"
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