Written over a period of 12 years, these stories paint a portrait of Vermont, not as it wants to be seen, but as it is. Mimi Morton's writing is full of vivid detail, whether her characters are struggling to make a living, transcending disappointment, or selflessly acting to strengthen their fictional community, North Haven. The dialogue captures the motivations, prejudices, humor, and tenderness expressed by neighbors, antagonists, lovers, and the misfits who do so much to make Vermont such an interesting place to live. Hearing them talk to each other, and to themselves, is one of the great pleasures to be found in these pages. These people are not heroic, but their conditions, flaws, and humanity are written about in ways that exalt the ordinary and show us the courage in their perseverance. Vermont is a land of tolerance, a virtue which richly informs Mimi Morton's storytelling. As in the great traditions of American realism, she gives equal voice to her characters, whether they're at the edges or in the center of community life.