Welcome to the blog tour for The Boxford Stories by Kristen Carson!
Welcome to the world of the Runyons and the Feldsteds, two Mormon families in 1970s Maryland. Far from their Western American roots, they cling to each other like exiles clutching a precious box of topsoil from the old country.
In The Boxford Stories you will meet Ada Runyon who always turns to Ruthalin Feldsted when she needs an ear—sharing her deepest confidences, her everyday musings, and her bits of horrified gossip. Yet Ada dies inside whenever Ruthalin’s country-cousin manners poke out in public.
Latham Runyon, a history professor, and Erval Feldsted, a hospital engineer, bond every Sunday night over gooey desserts and vigorous religious discussion, a game their children call Stump the Rabbi. Underneath their balding heads and graying temples, each man desperately seeks a sign that God would choose him as a buddy.
The Feldsted and Runyon children, running breathlessly through each other’s houses and backyards, have long considered each other substitute cousins. However, Ginni Runyon plots to change herself from the girl next door to the girl Marc Feldsted can’t live without.
And when Boxford’s Mormons mix with the rest of the town, everybody could use a field guide to the other species.
Laugh, cry, and shake your head with the Runyons and Feldsteds as they make their way through the decade that brought us leisure suits and urban decay.
Author Kristen Carson
Kristen Carson was born in Idaho, the caboose baby in a family of six girls. She studied at Brigham Young University.
Hearing tales of how green the grass was elsewhere, she pledged to move east of the 100th Meridian. Even though she’s never lived in the #1 place on her list (Lexington, Kentucky--have you seen those beautiful bluegrass hills?!), she enjoyed her years in Texas, Illinois and Pennsylvania. She currently lives in Indiana.
Kristen’s stories and articles have appeared in The Indianapolis Star, Chicago Parent, Indianapolis Monthly, Dialogue: a Journal of Mormon Thought and Irreantum.
She and her husband are the parents of four adult children.
She loves her two cats for their affection, their paranoia and their sense of entitlement. She takes long walks wherever she goes, because she thinks the best way to see the world is at 3 miles an hour. She loves cooking. All the chopping, stirring and inhaling lend the perfect capstone to her day.
Kristen is also an avid reader. No doubt she won’t live long enough to finish all the books on her list. Her favorite authors are Herman Wouk, Diana Gabaldon and Tom Wolfe.
Check out her blog, where she writes about whatever she’s reading and cooking.
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In 1970's Maryland, the landscape is rapidly changing. Particularly for transplants from the Western United States. In this collection of short stories, the tales of some Mormon families is shared as they work their way through their own lives. Each family has different things to deal with, but they each have a connecting thread through their faith and the area that they live in. Some things may change, but these families will make sure that they make it through together.
I have come to have an appreciation for short stories as I've gotten older. They allow for me to get an entire contained story in one sitting. This collection of tales did a great job of that. I felt like they were complete stories in and of themselves, but they also had threads of characters that connected them throughout. I did find the first story a little hard to get in to, but once everything settled down I enjoyed the stories greatly.
I think one of my favorite ones was actually the second story. In it, one man is contemplating the replacement of the current Stake President. Any LDS person knows this is a pretty big deal, and I found this story to be so real. Everything that the characters were doing and saying felt like people I knew. These stories manage to tell a story about certain people in a certain period of time, but they also feel universal at the same time. I greatly enjoyed these stories which I feel were simultaneously a slice of life and a slice of faith.
Book provided for review.
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