Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Trailer Park Tuesday: Bottomland by Michelle Hoover

Welcome to Trailer Park Tuesday, a showcase of new book trailers and, in a few cases, previews of book-related movies.

Michelle Hoover’s second novel, Bottomland, gets a dreamy, artsy trailer to showcase its equally dreamy and artistic prose. The vivid, impressionistic animation is done by Laura Harrison, who deserves great credit for creating a moody trailer set against pieces of the novel. Hoover, author of the critically-acclaimed The Quickening (2010), narrates excerpts from Bottomland, told in the distinct voices of three characters (Myrle, Esther and Nan). And so, we’re treated to beautiful lines like these:
At the river, the dirt turned to mud, the grass higher than my knees. I threw my nightgown on the bank and hugged three stones to my chest. When I stepped in, it was cold enough to burn. The moon barely showed itself. The river cut a trail between the fields. The cold changed to numbness the deeper I went in. There’s a place where a person is nothing, where the water is the same as breathing. This was it. And if something wanted me to stay with the river, I would. Because who says a person can’t live more than one life?

That same sort of lyrical writing is veined throughout Bottomland, a novel set in post-World War I about a German-American family living in Iowa whose two daughters vanish in the middle of the night. The remaining family members’ search for the missing girls also becomes a quest to overcome prejudice and the stain of anti-German feeling in post-war America. Give a listen to Hoover reading excerpts from Bottomland and you’ll quickly see how thin the membrane is between word and emotion on these pages. For more on the story behind the novel, visit Hoover’s website and scroll down to The Real Life Story.

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