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Grandmother, Laughing
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Sour Suschtje Sudermann had never laughed until the day she met Obrum Kehler with his freckles and robin's egg blue eyes and the red paint from the lawnswing raffle prize dripping down his nose. She'd never heard the music of the tall grass prairie that lifted her up from bread dough into the white clouds of heaven until Beethoven Blatz moved in to fix the piano that had fallen off the wagon into her begonias. But Susch could see and hear her Grandmother Glootje Susch laughing, whom people said could walk on hot coals, even though old Susch had died the day young Susch was born.

Now young Susch is old and needs to tell her secrets-how she and Obrum and Blatz loved each other and their son Isaac but couldn't talk about it until it was too late, how Isaac did and didn't take after his father and what came of that, and how another woman's belongings became the centrepieces of this unusual love story.

Spanning five generations, this fictional memoir of a life lived large on just one square mile of Manitoba prairie explores the generosity of a marriage frowned on by the villagers but rich in creativity and grace. These characters feel like beloved family members, and their homestead built under the wide, bird-songed sky among the grasses, wildflowers, and poison ivy becomes as real as one's own address.
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