Author: Stephanie Kallos
Publisher: Kindle edition
Setting: Emlyn Springs, NE
It's so hard to explain what the dead really want.
Why I chose this book: It was our book discussion book as well as the All Iowa Reads selection for 2011.
Why I read it to the end: There is a definitive story in the book but the thing that I focused on was the title of the book haling from the Welsh tradition gymanfa ganu, a singing in unison and four part harmony of Welsh traditional hymns. For the book's purpose, it was to honor the dead - an extended wake if you will. While I have not found that it is specifically to honor the dead, what I've read is that it usually happens in get-togethers of more than four people and typically you would find that in the case of someone's death. I thought it somewhat morbid but the musical side of me was overcome by the beauty of this concept of 'singing someone home' after they had passed on. The family dynamics of the book were also spellbinding and Midwest weather was a big part of the story.