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The Gleaner

The Gleaner

Author Leslie, Stephen
Publication Date 06/2011
Section Espresso Book Machine Books / Printed Here
Format Paperback
ISBN 9780615493145

Land is a character in this novel along with Vermont farm boy Danny Sweeney and the people he meets as he makes his way across the continent---Amish folk, migrant farm workers, Native Americans, rodeo cowboys, people who are living out their lives still connected to the working landscape amid the tectonic societal shifts of the 1960’s counterculture. Orphaned after his father’s accidental death and alienated from his older brother who intends to sell the family farm, Danny feels the ground of his being slipping away.  He flees, aimlessly heading west, following the peregrination of the sun.  Of Irish and Native American heritage, he knows the loneliness of the mixed-race child, belonging everywhere and nowhere. Yet an inner confidence forged by the hard work and discipline of being raised as a farm kid leads him to form strong bonds with the people he works with, lives with and learns from, relationships and experiences that help him mature from late adolescence into young manhood, from self-abandonment to self discovery.  More than a coming of age story, it is a paean to our lost heritage---our vital connection to land and working animals and to the earth itself.

Stephen Leslie owns and operates a horse-powered organic dairy and vegetable farm in Hartland, VT.

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