A Stone for Amer: April 1, 2017 publication.
“I was sixteen when Dad and I went out to Eastern Montana to claim Amer’s body…be eighty-five next birthday. Well, you might say, that was a long time ago. True. But I’m still bitter about the way he died. For some things in life, time has no business figuring in. The way I see it, there aren’t any limits. A fellow can hurt just as much over an age-old wound as he would from yesterday’s sorrow.”
Reviews: “Grief and rage that didn’t fade in seven decades drive the narrator of this novel set in eastern Montana. The harsh realities of homesteading leave readers appreciative.” — Kristen Inbody, Off the Bookshelf, Great Falls Tribune, Montana
“Sometimes an author doesn’t realize he’s got a good thing going and plunges on ahead when he might well have done better had he looked back. Popular Minnesota author Jon Hassler’s first adult novel was ‘Staggerford,’ which drew rave reviews from the New York Times. Unfortunately Hassler killed off one of his most attractive heroes, Miles Pruitt, at novel’s end.
“So what’s a poor author to do? Write a ‘prequel,’ that’s what. That’s just what Connie Claire Szarke has done…. Szarke’s ‘Delicate Armor’ was a Minnesota Book Award nominee. She had a wonderful cast of characters, some of them on the way out. So Szarke has backed up to World War I and created ‘A Stone for Amer’, which reintroduces the same characters. Szarke calls it a ‘sequel’ but I like prequel because she picks up her story before Callie, her memorable character in ‘Delicate Armor,’ is even born.
“Callie was the irrepressible little girl growing up in rural Minnesota in the 1950s. She’s always in trouble and gives her father, Will Lindstrom, a small-town office holder, more than a few premature gray hairs. They’re both back in ‘A Stone for Amer,’ and this time father takes over the narration. It’s the present and Will is determined to find out what happened to his Uncle Amer, who left Minnesota for the wilds of Eastern Montana after World War I…” —Dave Wood, syndicated columnist, past president of the National Book Critics Circle, former book editor for the Minneapolis Star Tribune
To listen to the author interview on KFAI WriteOn!Radio, visit the “Events & News” page on this site.