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David Adams Richards writes about people from the wrong side of the tracks with poignancy and compassion. Nights Below Station Street is set, like all of Richards's work, in small-town New Brunswick, and it begins a trilogy that continues with two other novels set in the Miramichi Valley, Evening Snow Will Bring Such Peace and For Those Who Hunt the Wounded Down. Written in an easy-flowing, realistic mode, this deceptively simple novel explores the day-to-day lives and trials of a handful of concisely drawn, compelling characters. Adele is a feisty girl of 15, strong-headed, entering adulthood in a tumbling erratic rush. Her mother, Rita, who watches children and cleans houses, is solid and hard-working, the pillar of the family, which also includes the father, Joe, a hapless but cheerful drunk, and Milly, a younger daughter. Their familial relationships are complicated by their friendship with Myrrha, who lives nearby in a trailer with her spoiled, chubby son Byron.
One reason why Nights Below Station Street won the 1988 Governor General's Award for fiction (he won the same award for non-fiction 10 years later for Lines on the Water) may be Richardss talent for capturing the everyday speech patterns of his characters. When Adele complains to her boyfriend Ralphie about her Christmas gifts, "This here isn't nothing compared to what I got last year," the reader can easily picture the look of adolescent petulance on her face. In the end, these ordinary people are tested by the various trials of their difficult lives, and while they never end up in any simulacrum of paradise on earth, they do come through their struggles with fortitude and a kind of rough wisdom, their humanity intact. --Mark Frutkin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Praise for Nights Below Station Street:
“David Adams Richards has illuminated the human struggle for love and belonging.…”
“Richards depicts his characters with such searing fidelity that we are forced to marvel at his talent.”
–Globe and Mail
“An exploration of the nature of love and the process of redemption.…”
“A warning label should be attached to every copy: You’ll hate for this book to end.”
–Halifax Daily News
From the Hardcover edition.