Written by Max Crawford
Review by Jetta Culpepper

This novel is a throwback to the early 20th century west, when members of close-knit communities used the local schoolhouse as a meeting place. Three returnees from World War II resume their work at the school they had attended as children. Now they are in the positions of superintendent, drama teacher and science instructor. The locals’ personal lives and the returned educators’ teaching experiences are all closely connected to this school stage. Theatrical productions occupy a good deal of the story. Alone, these sections may prove boring for non-thespians, but then the plot turns toward a local murder trial and the aftermath of the characters’ wartime experiences. Readers won’t realize the impact of a laboratory accident involving the science teacher until the novel’s end. The murder trial proves as confusing to follow as the account of a group of traveling actors who play Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The twisted narrative follows several stories and is ideal for readers who enjoy a challenging writing style.