Several weeks ago when we found out we were moving to
The narrator is young Austen Kittredge who, after his mother’s death, is sent to live with his grandparents and attend the
Other quirky highlights include a retired circus elephant, a plague of flies, a bank robber aunt, and two old uncles (one a preacher, the other a bootlegger). The back stories of all the Kittredge relatives are bewitching. Almost as much remains secret as is revealed in the end about each character, enriching them all the more. Austen’s stern grandfather has a particular obsession with maps and traveling north into the Canadian wilderness, which I found appealing.
I really can’t recommend this book enough, and I’m planning on looking into Mosher’s other novels. The characters remind me of my own cantankerous Scottish relatives as well as Ickie’s admirable farmer grandparents. Northern Borders shared the pleasantly scandalous nature of the Southern novel Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns, which I enjoyed as a teen.