Rooville: a novel by Julie Long. Arizona: SparkPress, 2015. 385 pages. Discussion Questions. ****
Even after living in San Diego for thirteen years, TV weatherman Owen Martin has not adjusted to moving from his hometown of Martinville, Iowa. The weather is always the same in San Diego, "seventy-five and sunny” Owen tries to liven up his forecast by showing viewers what weather really is like in other areas of the country. Fired for going rogue, his mother is getting married and the family farm is up for sale, Owen decides to return "home" and find what seems to be missing in his life. Naively thinking that the town named after his family would have remained the same in his absence, Owen discovers that Martinville has become the center of the Transcendental Meditation movement. Owen moves into his Grandparents home and seeks to block the meditating mayor from buying the farm and turning it into VedaLand. Almost running over the mayor's daughter on his first day in town changes Owen's life in ways that even he couldn't have imagined.
A heart-warming story of self-discovery, love, friendship and acceptance. Life has a way of surprising us and shaking things up. Owen is bored in San Diego, but not ready to accept the many changes in his hometown. Long uses humor and life situations to tell Owen's story which could be anyone's story. There are enough twists and turns to keep the reader engaged and to root for the farm to be saved and Owen to find true love. I enjoyed reading this novel and look forward to others from Long.
I received a copy of this novel from SparkPress to review.
Julie Long was born in Fairfield, Iowa, a typical midwestern town (the kind with a bandstand in the middle of the square) that just happened to become the center of the Transcendental Meditation movement. For several years she lived in Southern California before opting for the rural life in Western Pennsylvania. Today she lives on a farm with her husband extended family and an English bulldog named Wilson. This is her first novel. Visit her at Julie Long Writes.