MECKLENBURG, N.Y., Oct. 7, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Readers and reviewers agree: There’s never been a book quite like Cuppy and Stew, author Eric Goodman’s sixth and most unusual book to date. Defying any one categorical label, Goodman describes it as part memoir, part fiction, part journalistic reportage. It’s a love story. A human interest story. An account of a horrific real-life event. And readers have agreed that whatever it is, Cuppy and Stew is a book you just can’t put down, especially these days, when we could all use some great literary distraction.
The book opens with the historic central crisis – the bombing of United Airlines Flight 629 in 1955, marking the first example of American air piracy and the FBI’s first investigation of a major criminal attack on a U.S. airline – the plane that exploded just twelve minutes after takeoff from Denver’s Stapleton Airfield, killing everyone aboard and leaving the story’s narrator and her sister orphaned in their young teens.
Goodman has done an extraordinary job of creating an engaging flashback, weaving the story of (real-life protagonists) Cuppy and Stew’s romance in post-war Canada, the exhilaration of young love and the happy childhood of their daughters, until tragedy strikes on that awful day, ending that love story in one terrifying moment. It is then that the daughters, Susan and Sherry, become central figures of an even more epic saga of the complete neglect of those charged with their care, and bureaucratic failure of the system that was supposed to protect them. One sister perseveres against all odds and it is her singular story of survival and endurance that enthralls the reader and keeps those pages turning. This book may indeed leave you shaken by the behavior of the adults but no doubt marveling at the indomitability of the human spirit possessed by the child.
What is particularly fascinating is that Susan, the young girl who serves as the narrator of this story, grew up to become author Eric Goodman’s wife. Her oldest memories were refreshed with her own childhood diaries coupled with her husband’s unstinting ability to create and relate a story that grabs the reader and doesn’t let go. This is her life, her own recollection of stories she was told as a child mixed with events she actually lived through. And the early days, when Cuppy and Stew met and fell in love, must have happened much in the way Goodman depicted – until that day when the unimaginable happens. The story that follows, presented by the author from Susan’s viewpoint, takes these girls from childhood into young adulthood, through all the very real as well as imagined struggles of youngsters forced to grow up too soon, too fast.
Over the years, novelist Eric Goodman’s books have been described in many ways – readable, fascinating, raw, honest. He describes this latest work a little differently – as a unique mixture of literary styles. Goodman might be a little too modest when referring to Cuppy and Stew (IF SF Publishing, San Francisco), as this book also deserves such superlatives as timely, riveting, touching, powerful – a work of fiction so eloquently told that the very real people we meet will no doubt join the ranks of Goodman’s most unforgettable characters.
Eric Goodman is the author of five previous novels including Twelfth and Race, Child of My Right Hand and In Days of Awe. For many years, he directed the creative writing program at Miami University in Ohio. He lives with his wife Susan in Mecklenburg, New York and Sonoma County, California. Find him at www.eric-goodman.com.
Contact: Nancy Sayles/The Sayles Organization
SOURCE Eric Goodman