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Northern Borders: A Novel Paperback – September 4, 2002


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"Soil" by Julie Kornegay
Drawing on elements of dark comedy and modern dysfunction, Kornegay’s novel is about the gravitational pull of one man’s apocalypse and the hope that maybe he can be reeled in from the brink. See more
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Haunting, pastoral images and odd, unforgettable characters pervade this spellbinding tale of rural northern Vermont in the late 1940s and 1950s. Through the memories of Austen Kittredge III, who lived on his grandparents' farm in Lost Nation Hollow from age six to 18, Mosher (A Stranger in the Kingdom) fashions a moving tribute to the rugged lifestyle and strong individualistic values of an era that is vanishing even as young Austen discovers it. From his hard-working, misanthropic grandfather, the self-proclaimed "meanest old bastard in Kingdom County," and his equally willful grandmother Abiah, fascinated by Egyptology and constantly battling with her husband, Austen receives a unique education, filled with dramatic introductions to nature, history and the fascinating people (many of them family) that make up his "Kingdom." Mosher's understated prose and mastery of affectionate detail bring to life Austen's remembered world with vivid immediacy and great poignancy.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

YA?Reading this novel is like turning the pages of a family album with its glimpses of friends and relatives. Austen Kittredge carries readers on a quick, sentimental journey back to his growing-up years with his grandparents from 1948-1960. Not warm and fuzzy, they are determined, hard-working, no-nonsense types who adore Austen in their quiet, stern way. Life is primitive in this rural area of Vermont that borders Canada?it snows in May, there's no electricity, and an uneducated schoolmistress who keeps "good order" runs the one-room schoolhouse. When Austen turns 18, he and his 72-year-old grandfather explore and map parts of Labrador. The narrator paints a brilliant picture of the territory's beauty and mystique as well as its treachery. This book will appeal even to reluctant readers, and especially to those who enjoyed Olive Anne Burns's Cold Sassy Tree (Ticknor & Fields, 1984). Although few YAs can identify with Austen's lifestyle, they will share his fascination with the strange melange called family.?Linda Diane Townsend, West Potomac High School, Fairfax County, VA
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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"Soil" by Julie Kornegay
Drawing on elements of dark comedy and modern dysfunction, Kornegay’s novel is about the gravitational pull of one man’s apocalypse and the hope that maybe he can be reeled in from the brink. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; Reprint edition (September 4, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618240098
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618240098
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #215,950 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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15%
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See all 27 customer reviews
Its funny , insightful, and wonderfully entertaining.
michael william
I first purchased this book on august 15, 1997 with a copyright date of 1994 from Penguin Book Publishers.
a reader
I'm still smiling and have that good feeling in my guts from having read some good stuff.
Jim Misko

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By swfreakazoid on March 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
I strongly recommend this heartwarming book written from a child's point of view in the beginning. Later on, as the boy grows, the reader gets acquainted with his myriad of experiences and encounters with various people and animals. In the end, the reader is filled with a sense of peace and serenity as all comes to a close. This book had me laughing, crying, smiling, cringing, and recalling the times of growing up.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jon Cooley on November 29, 1998
Format: Paperback
In my Visions of Childhood class that I am currently taking at college, we were assigned Northern Borders. Given two weeks to read this, I found that I couldn't put it down and ultimately finished reading the material within two days! A must read for anyone who enjoys good fiction writing, without the complexities that many writers use as subterfuge for the story. Highly recommended for those in the class or not! Definetly looking forward to checking out more books my Mosher.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Susan Bumbalo on February 9, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a great,fun, touching book. I absolutley loved it, and so have all the people whom I've given copies to. I have read all of Mosher's books, and while they're all very good, this is his best. I look forward to re-reading it while I wait impatiently for more from this excellent author.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Roger W. Inglis on January 29, 2005
Format: Paperback
Howard Frank Mosher is an exquisite story teller. His words are worth a thousand pictures. The reality of growing up on a rustic farm in northern Vermont during the 40's & 50's is made charmingly clear. Life on the farm is rough, yet idyllic. Where work is its own reward is a simple truth & the path to an honest existence. The only negative is the story ends!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 14, 1998
Format: Paperback
I became interested in reading this book when The Boston Sunday Globe Magazine featured an article on Mosher. It was a rare instance of my reading a book about which I knew almost nothing. I found it a fascinating portrait. As a lifelong New Englander, I was enthralled by the depiction of a New England that could be a different planet. The two elderly characters are eccentric, demanding, and hilarious. Yet, they are loving grandparents who show their grandson a life he could never have imagined. I am grateful to have discovered Mosher, and would recommend this work to anyone interested in a serious yet rather mad work of fiction.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 15, 1998
Format: Paperback
I picked this book up in the library entirely by chance. I was soon hooked on it. Gentle, fascinating, totally unpredictable, it was a step back into another place and time, full of the most interesting people . . . It is one of those books where the reader won't want to read the last chapter because then it will be over. I read several chapters to my children as individual stories, and they were enchanted. The entire book wove a spell over me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 6, 1997
Format: Paperback
Northern Borders is a trip to another time and another place, where a youngster deals with his eccentric relatives and the consequences of a family who have lived life on that land for generations. Without sentimentality, without hackneyed characterization, Mosher depicts a time and place so vividly you can't bear that the book must end. I read very widely and this is one of the best novels I've encountered in years. A quiet little gem
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Goalois on March 23, 2009
Format: Paperback
All of Howard Frank Mosher's books are good, but this one is a truly excellent read. Like the man himself, his characters are crafted like a sharp hard cider distilled from the backwoods of Vermont. Usually several years in the making, his books do take awhile to ferment, but when they reach peak potency -- finish the whole jug in one long Northeast Kingdom night. It will keep you warm and, thankfully, the only hangover is the need to quickly share your copy with your spouse or best friend so you can talk about it. Vermont hasn't had an ambassador this genuine since Robert Frost. And for those who want to understand the soul of this land of cruel June frosts, Mosher's still around to bare his.
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