Goods and Effects by author Al Schnupp
Thank you to author Al Schnupp for providing me with a copy of his book in exchange for this honest review.
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Goods and Effects is a snapshot of small town life within a rural Mennonite community without focusing on the religious aspects. Hannah loses her last ties to her faith after the loss of her husband and two sons. The church refuses to bury her husband on their land because he was not a true believer.
The book opens with a subtle period of mourning. Hannah is heartbroken by her loss but she doesn’t have time to deal with those emotions yet. She must figure out how to bury her family, what to do with the family farm, and how to make a living all on her own. Luckily, the community is generous and helpful but Hannah does not want to feel indebted to them forever.
She finds an old work van and decides to go on a little journey. She’s never left her hometown before and even just venturing to the next biggest city will be quite an adventure. Through good old fashioned hard work, gumption, and a little document fraud she builds a small business as a traveling supply market for local stores.
Goods and Effects focuses mostly on the characters. Hannah is in the spotlight but everyone she meets has their own personality to offer as well. The characters are fleshed out and real. Even if you’ve never lived in a rural community you can see how true these characters feel.
My favorite was Darla, who becomes Hannah’s side kick of sorts. She is a young deaf woman who more than makes up for her hearing loss with artistic talent and incredible intuition. She sees everyone’s true nature and is able to paint it for them to see.
Hannah plays more than a passing role in the lives of the townfolk. She is incredibly intelligent and not just a little manipulative. Without anyone realizing it she changes the course of many lives in such ways as setting up relationships, taking revenge on behalf of others, and mending family ties.
She’s a sort of traveling angel with the best intentions. However, she is human and not every story has a happy ending but she does her best. Goods and Effects is a subtle novel that has a sweetness to it that lingers well after it is finished.
I felt strongly for everyone in this book and believe that any of their individual stories could fill an entire book on their own. I strongly recommend Goods and Effects for any lovers of character driven stories.
5/5 vans 🚚🚚🚚🚚🚚
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Buy Goods and Effects here: Al Schnupp