Stephen March. Catbird. Sag Harbor, NY: Permanent Press, 2006.

Zeb Dupree is down on his luck in New Orleans when he finds a one-eyed abandoned puppy in a trash can.  Zeb’s wife is leaving him for another man, his father recently committed suicide, and he just lost his job as a newspaper editor.   In the midst of this mid-life crisis, Zeb heads back to Cedar Springs, North Carolina, the town where he attended college on a scholarship in the 1960s.

The novel alternates between the present and flashbacks of Zeb’s life growing up in the fictional Seaton, N.C.   This emotional shuffling between the past and present intensifies Zeb’s struggling efforts to rebuild his life.   After his return to Cedar Springs, Zeb works as a condo painter and a fiddler in a traveling country-rock band, dates an artist named Jenny, and tries to reconnect with his family.   His family members are also plagued by the loss of their father and the stress experienced by a younger brother who is a Vietnam vet.   Zeb begins to find peace (or at least patience) when he buys the property surrounding his father’s old house and begins to renovate the structure and farm the land.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2006, March, Stephen, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Piedmont

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