Wednesday, February 16, 2022

The Door-Man by Peter M. Wheelwright

Happy Wednesday, readers! Today I'm a stop on the TLC blog tour for Peter M. Wheelwright's The Door-Man. 

You'll have to forgive me today, I'm going to default to the description on the TLC tour page for the about the book:

In 1917, during the construction of a large reservoir in the Catskill hamlet of Gilboa, New York, a young paleontologist named Winifred Goldring identified fossils from an ancient forest flooded millions of years ago when the earth’s botanical explosion of oxygen opened a path for the evolution of humankind. However, the reservoir water was needed for NYC, and the fossils were buried once again during the flooding of the doomed town.

A mix of fact and fiction, The Door-Man follows three generations of interwoven families who share a deep wound from Gilboa’s last days. The story is told by Winifred’s grandson, a disaffected NYC doorman working near the Central Park Reservoir during its decommissioning in 1993.

The brief and provisional nature of one’s life on earth – and the nested histories of the places, people and events that give it meaning – engender a reckoning within the tangled roots and fragile bonds of family.

Before this book, I'd never heard of Gilboa. But I have come across stories about flooded towns and I found the premise of this one intriguing. 

So in 1926, the original Gilboa was flooded to form a reservoir and the town effectively moved north. As in the book, the remains of some of the "oldest known trees on earth" were found there. And in spite of that discovery, plans for the reservoir moved forward. And it's this very real event that inspires the story in The Door-Man

The story shifts throughout time, alternating from 1993 to 1917 and years in between, as Wheelwright follows three generations and how those families' stories intersects with Gilboa's. 

This is a thoughtful book and also a bit of a quiet read. And since it's based in part in truth, it is also a fascinating read that explores a great sense of place and nature and how we and it affect one another. 

I'll admit that I generally gravitate to more fast paced, plot-driven narratives, but sometimes slowing down is a nice change of pace :) 

The Door-Man is a perfect book for fans of Richard Powers. It's also a great pick for book clubs!

To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here

For more on the author and his work you can visit his website here. You can also follow him on Instagram and Twitter

Purchase Links: Indiebound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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