ROUNDS is a book that has been out of print for decades, which is unfortunate, not to mention sad, for serious readers of good fiction. Frederick Busch was a master at creating characters so real that by the end of the book you'd swear you've known some of these people. ROUNDS is no exception. Protagonist Dr. Eli Silver is the kind of committed and caring pediatrician you'd want for your own kids; but he's going through some very tough times, as his wife has fled following the death of their own child. Elizabeth Bean, a troubled professional with her own problems, becomes his salvation, at least for a time. Then there are the academics from the local college in rural upstate New York - Phil Sorenson and his wife Annie, who wander like aging hippies from one teaching position to the next, rehabbing old houses each time to fill their time as they hope for children. Their stories - and others - all intersect in the most surprising and tragic ways.
I've been reading Fred Busch for nearly twenty years now, beginning with his Harry and Catherine: A Love Story, then Girls: A Novel (Ballantine Reader's Circle) (probably his best known book) and others. Busch wrote more than two dozen books, and every one of them is gem-like in its polished precision and perfection. I don't think I've read quite half of his output, and many have been out of print for years. But I plan to try to find them all and read them. It's one of those absolutely enjoyable jobs that somebody's gotta do, ya know? - Tim Bazzett, author of the memoir BOOKLOVER