Empire Falls This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Small towns are notorious forattracting eccentric people, but Richard Russo keeps the characters of hisPulitzer Prize-winning novel Empire Falls fresh and sympathetic even as they playout the never-ending stories and stereotypes that make up our own everydayworlds.

Russo wonderfully blends a laid-back atmosphere and quick wit inthe story of Miles Roby, owner of the Empire Grill in the town of Empire Falls,Maine who usually feels like the lone voice of near-sanity in his small worldpopulated by the likes of his hygienically and courtesy-challenged father, acontrolling town matriarch, and Tick, his smart and sarcastic teenagedaughter.

Past and present intertwine through flashbacks and subtlereferences as Roby struggles to create a better future for himself and Tickdespite a town suffocating in the past. Whether remembering events from hischildhood or watching his soon-to-be-ex-wife with her new fiancé, thereader will identify with Roby alternating between frustration and tentativehope.

The pace may be at times as laconic as a meandering river, but whenit picks up, it pulls you along, making it almost impossible to put down.Unexpected, but completely believable, turns keep the plot unpredictable. It's alittle long to read from cover to cover, but anyone who starts it will attempt todo just that. Empire Falls is perfect for a weekend with nothing else todo.


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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