The History of Now

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What to expect

Small, almost imperceptible changes are rippling through the New England village of Grandville, altering it in ways its inhabitants cannot yet imagine. The sixty-five-year-old projectionist at the local movie theater encounters an unexpected love affair. The town’s drama leader wrestles with self-doubt over a politically-correct play a New Yorker is pushing her to produce, while her teenaged daughter discovers long-lost black relatives living nearby. Laced through these episodes are stories that reach back to a seventeenth-century family in Rotterdam, an eighteenth-century migration by a farmer’s lonely son, and a nineteenth-century underground railway journey by a gifted runaway slave. Each episode in Grandville’s history comes to bear on the lives of current residents. Does every event, no matter how small or distant in the past, influence all events that follow?

Critics Review

  • “Klein crafts a charming philosophical lesson in this story of destiny and history colliding in a fictional New England town….Blending the present-day story with tidbits from Grandville history, Klein brings the town vividly to life. As the drama unfolds, the actors remind us that destiny is writ in history.”

    Publishers Weekly
  • “Set in the fictional, Richard Russo-like town of Grandville, MA, this sweet book is a satisfying read. Recommended.”

    Library Journal
  • “Everything about the novel, from its cast to its setting to its occasional use of allegory and metaphor, is just right. A definite change of pace for the author of various medical thrillers and mysteries, but a completely successful one.”

    Booklist
  • “Enormously appealing characters.”

    Kirkus Reviews

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