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Sweet & crazy
Patty Dann
Adult Fiction DANN

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Using September 11 as a backdrop, Dann (Mermaids) examines issues of death, racism and widowhood in smalltown America. Hanna's husband, Ed, died of brain cancer at 45, leaving her to raise their four-year-old son, Pete. Hanna, 39, who teaches creative writing to retirees at the Y in Ash Creek, Ohio, is just starting to move on when terrorists attack the U.S. For Pete, the tragedy is simple: "A plane of bad guys crashed into a control tower at the airport. Some kids got to leave school early." But for other people in Hanna's world-namely, her friend Mazur, the South Asian-American proprietor of the local dry-cleaning shop-the events have a much greater impact. Mazur becomes a victim of hate crimes, and Hanna even receives threats (due to her Jewish ancestry, an anomaly in Ash Creek). Meanwhile, a concurrent story line reveals Hanna's developing romance with her next-door neighbor, Thomas, who works at an 18th-century colonial village on the edge of town. Although the story is fairly straightforward, it covers some weighty issues, which Dann addresses in sparse, almost childlike prose. "All I wanted was life to be regular for Pete," Hanna thinks immediately after September 11. Later, planning Pete's birthday party, she reports, "The next days I was abuzz with birthday plans, as much as one woman can be abuzz." Although the book feels at times like the first draft of a deeper, richer reflection, Dann nonetheless offers a simple, genuine tale of renewal after loss. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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main characters Hanna
Age: 39
Her husband recently died of cancer.

Age: 4
Hanna's son; just starting kindergarten.

Hanna's neighbor.

East Indian
Owns a dry cleaners; his brother-in-law died in the 9/11 terrorist attack.
Store owner

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