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  • petercstenson

What I’m Reading: THE TENDERNESS OF STRINGS by Steven Schwartz

Updated: Mar 12, 2022

From the publisher: “In search of a new life, Reuben and Ardith Rosenfeld and their two children move from Chicago to the small town of Welton, Colorado, looking for all the hope that the burgeoning West has to offer—its abundance of jobs, space, sunshine, prosperity, and the promise of reinvention. Reuben, a former copyeditor at the Chicago Tribune, purchases the local town paper, the Welton Sentinel. Ardith stays home and copes with the task of fixing up an older house, which suffers such disrepair that on Halloween it's mistaken for part of a haunted house tour. Teenaged Harry continues his life as a troubled loner, skipping school and losing his tooth in a mysterious encounter. Meanwhile, Reuben, unaware that Ardith is having an affair, worries about his wife's growing unhappiness and distance from the family. One night, after a cookout at some friends' dairy farm, a fatal hit-and-run occurs that shocks the community, exposes a secret, and begins to rip apart the Rosenfeld family. The Tenderest of Strings is a riveting, full-hearted story of what it takes to survive as a family in a small Western town that beckons from afar but will put its newcomers to the test of their lives.”

I enjoyed the hell out of this book. It’s somehow a quiet, slow-burning examination of family and love, while also being impossible to put down. For me, this combination is the literary fiction equivalent of spotting a leprechaun barebacking a unicorn. And what other reviews I’ve seen fail to mention is that it’s pretty damn funny. Strongly recommend.


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