The plucky New England regional magazine Riverboro Rocks is hanging in there – barely – as most plucky print publications are these days. Plucky owner-editor Piper Hadley Hammond starts a blog to chronicle daily life in her small town and perhaps increase interest in the monthly magazine.
Author Linda Spitzfaden weaves the blog posts and their comment sections together with the narrative of that crucial November in Riverboro. When an unexpected (except to the magazine’s mysterious Weather Oracle) early winter storm raises the river banks and knocks out power to much of the town, an ashram of six monks takes shelter at Piper’s ancestral home, adding to the magazine staff, family members and friends who always seem to be dropping by.
I confess I spent some time wondering where we were going with all this – when we got there, though, the payoff was tremendous and I realized the signposts had been placed in plain sight all the way through. I had been taking a leisurely stroll through the book, but I raced through the last 100 pages or so to a satisfying conclusion.
The Other Side of Everything is a quirky, clever and captivating look into complicated relationships and their impact.