Yeah, I read another book. This one I picked up from the New Fiction shelves at the library. Someday I'll browse through there and have trouble finding a book I haven't read. But for now, they're all new.
This one is a series of short stories, each about people who lived in this house on Cape Cod. The first story features a mother whose husband and sons are lost at sea during the revolutionary war. She doesn't believe they're dead until a blackbird, the pet of her younger son, appears in her yard. She mourns for 6 years while the rest of the town does superstitious things like give her their most prized posessions in order to ward off bad luck. Finally, the elder son appears, having been captured by the British and imprisoned, then working to earn his passage back to the states.
The rest of the stories are kind of like this: imperfect relationships, a bit superstitious, and lots of bad luck. A bunch of people die, a bunch of people are unhappy. Oprah book.
My favorite story took place around the 1950's. The house was inhabited by a family including a 10-year-old son, who was sent to the neighbors' to shovel snow after a big storm. Something wasn't quite right about these neighbors, the husband was a mean SOB, and for that reason none of the town really socialized with them. The kid arrives to find the wife on the floor, naked, with blood all over her face. She's alive, but in shock. The kid calmly covers her and helps her, and soon discovers that her husband is in the kitchen, dead. It seems they had an altercation. I like this story because I like how the kid handles it: He and the wife put the body in a wheelbarrow, put some rocks in the pockets and the boots, and dump the body into the pond. Then he goes home and tells his mom that the woman next-door was a bit shaken up because her husband left her without any warning.