Down East 2013 ©
Mattagash, Maine, may be a fictional town, but thanks to Cathie Pelletier’s bestselling books, it might just be the most talked-about place in Aroostook County. It’s been the setting for five of her ten novels, including The One-Way Bridge (Sourcebooks Landmark, Naperville; hardcover; 304 pages; $24.99), released earlier this year. Pelletier began the novel while living in Tennessee in 1991. Twelve drafts later — and after returning to her childhood home in Allagash with her husband in 2009 — the town of Mattagash came alive again. This time, the setting is 2006, and Pelletier’s portrait of the isolated community is as vivid, funny, and heartfelt as ever. But while residents feud over small-town trivialities (one man’s tawdry moose-shaped mailbox, for instance), they also face darker challenges. A body is discovered in the woods, two men are caught in a deadlock on the one-way bridge, and the people of Mattagash must fight to protect their way of life from the charge of a changing world.