Jonagold Peter Blendell, 2014

Laid low by flu, I took up this independently published 102-page novella, which almost stalled during “Adam,” the first and least engaging, most recitative section of three, interrelated but independent first person narratives. Even though Adam’s family relationships and connection to the land, its apple orchards and the seasons are well presented, I almost set the book aside.

I’m happy I persevered.

The second section’s staccato and compelling narrative, “David,” captures the unique voice of Adam’s younger brother who lives somewhere on the autism spectrum. Blendell’s poignant portrait makes David unforgettable. The final section belongs to Gail, Adam’s partner in life. Her way of drawing him into a conversation in the service of their relationship and future adds sweet wisdom to the spell cast by the book’s language, characters and setting.             7.5/10

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