From debut author Shannon Bowring comes a novel of small town America that Pulitzer-winner Richard Russo calls, “measured, wise, and beautiful”.

It’s 1990, and the lives of the inhabitants of Dalton, Maine play on. Rose goes to work at the diner every day, her bruises hidden from both the customers and her two young boys. At a table she waits, Dr. Richard Haskell looks back on the one choice that’s charted his entire life, before his thoughts wander back to his wife, Trudy, and her best friend.

Trudy and Bev have been friends for longer than they can count, and something more than lovers to each other for some time now—a fact both accepted and ignored by their husbands. Across town, new mother Bridget lives with her high school sweetheart Nate, and is struggling with postpartum after a traumatic birth. And nearer still is teenager Greg, trying to define the complicated feelings he has about himself and his two close friends.

In most small towns, the private is also public. When one of Dalton’s own makes an unthinkable decision, the community is left reeling. In the aftermath, their problems, both small and large, reveal a deeper understanding of the lives of their neighbors, and remind us that no one is exactly who you think they are.

The Road to Dalton is the fiction selection for Read ME 2024

The Road to Dalton reads more like a collage than a singular painting—it’s a novel with so many tricks up its sleeve.”

—JAED COFFIN, Recommending Author, Read ME 2024


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