"Like Elizabeth Strout, her fellow chronicler of small-town Maine life, Monica Wood imbues her characters with the complexity and humanity of real people. Ernie's Ark is as true as life."-Christina Baker Kline, author of Orphan Train
In nine interlinking stories, the town of Abbot Falls reacts as Ernie Whitten, pipefitter, builds a giant ark in his backyard. Ernie was weeks away from a pension-secured retirement when the union went on strike. Now his wife Marie is ill. Struck with sudden inspiration, Ernie builds the ark as a work of art for his wife to see from the window; a vessel to carry them both away; or a plea for God to spare Marie, come hell or high water.
As the ark takes shape, the rest of the town carries on. There's Dan Little, a building-code enforcer who comes to fine Ernie for the ark and makes a significant discovery about himself; Francine Love, a precocious thirteen-year-old who longs to be a part of the family-like world of the union workers; and Atlantic Pulp & Paper CEO Henry John McCoy, an impatient man wearily determined to be a good father to his twenty-six-year-old daughter. The people of Abbott Falls will try their best to hold a community together, against the fiercest of odds. . . .
Few writers can capture the extraordinary within seemingly ordinary lives as does Monica Wood. An unforgettable tapestry of love, loneliness-and neighbors.
Monica Wood is a novelist, memoirist, and playwright. Her most recent novel, The One-in-a-Million Boy (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), has been published in 22 languages in 30 countries and won the 2017 Nautilus Award (Gold) and the New England Society Book Award. She is also the author of When We Were the Kennedys (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), an Oprah magazine summer-reading pick and winner of both the May Sarton Memoir Award and the 2016 Maine Literary Award. Ernie's Ark was excerpted on NPR's "Selected Shorts" and selected by several towns and cities as their "One Book, One Community" read.