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Holman, Shed. The mammoth cheese.

HOLMAN, Shed. The mammoth cheese. Grove. 442p. c2003. 0-6021-4135-8. $13.00. A

This wonderfully complex novel is set in Three Chimneys, a rural community in Virginia. a state that has been intrinsically involved in the history of the United States. It is a community that believes in hard work, religion and patriotism, but many of those beliefs are challenged by reality. One reality is the "miracle" birth of 11 babies to one of its poor residents and the subsequent death of some of them. Another is the demise of the small farmer, as typified by Margaret Pricket who is struggling to maintain her family dairy farm. Another is the belief that our children are safe in a small town and that we can trust our government. All these issues become wrapped up in the town's effort to recreate a "mammoth cheese" that was presented to Thomas Jefferson.

The characters and plot make a good story, but the author has also created a written montage of some of the issues of modern-day America.

A--Recommended for advanced students and adults. This code will help librarians and teachers working in high schools where there are honors and advanced placement students. This also will help extend KLIATT's usefulness in public libraries.

Nola Theiss, Sanibel, FL
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Author:Theiss, Nola
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Sep 1, 2004
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