Review: Virgil Wander

Despite some dark themes, Virgil Wander (digital galley, Grove Atlantic) is a remarkably humorous, feel-good novel. Virgil, the title character, is the owner of a one-screen movie theater in a struggling Lake Superior town who is dealing with the mental after effects of a serious, and spectacular, car accident.

The town of Greenstone is inhabited by several offbeat, yet agreeable characters who help Virgil as he gets back on his feet. But Greenstone is also a town plagued by tragedy, and central to the story is the mystery of a missing minor league baseball player, a friend of Virgils.

This strangely appealing novel is author Leif Enger’s first in ten years, since his well received Peace Like a River. The story if full of midwestern nostalgia and wonderful subplots, such as a vengeful quest for a giant fish and the towns compulsive attraction to an out-of-town kite flyer. It would be hard to ask for more out of a book.