8 x 5 | Softcover | 128 pages
Published January 1, 2012
A feud, a fire, an affair. Cows in the pasture, men at the lunch counter, violets in an old cream bottle.
This is Vermont life–passionate, pastoral, pungent–in F. D. Reeve's stunning novella, Nathaniel Purple.
The story is more than the sum of its parts. It is author F. D. Reeve's love poem to the state of Vermont, which forms a rich, vivid canvas for his intimate portrayal of village life.
But human nature is a bit out of joint. Years of living on the bony land has led the village people to jealousies and forbidden couplings.
Reeve draws us into his world through the sharp eyes of Nathaniel Purple, who, as the town's librarian, is the link to the world of books and rational thinking. He is also an everyman, a native Vermonter, able to embrace the town's practical justice. And he has a few secrets of his own.
Nathaniel Purple celebrates the strength and timelessness of the natural world above the daily struggle and quotidian quarrels of everyday existence. People live out their destinies while the seasons turn.
"F. D. Reeve catalogs the different ways in which memories of things read and things lived intrude on familiar conversations. Here is a love story of man and woman growing up together, of man and horse in silent appreciation of nature, of man and dog getting drunk together, of man reigning over and tending his cows. This Vermont Grade A Medium Amber eclogue is full of flavor, and not only the sweetness of long love and living close to nature. "
American Arts Quarterly
" F. D. Reeve's descriptive powers amplify and illuminate the human drama. Nathaniel Purple, the objective, warm-spirited narrator, is to be trusted at every turn in every sentence, especially the ones richly invested in pointed irony."
American Book Review
"It takes the poet F. D. Reeve to give intensity to passions in Nathaniel Purple, a book one wants to read twice over."
Daniel Hoffman, poet