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Reviewed by Soumya Sreehari for Readers' Favorite
How do you cope when you lose your entire family? By opening a warehouse on wheels, of course! Hannah Mercer does exactly that in Al Schnupp’s Goods & Effects. As she rebuilds her life with her store-on-wheels, she lives many lives with the people she meets on her routes. Darla – the deaf artist, Velma – the brilliant woodworker, Vivian – the industrious librarian, LeRoy – the hidden musician – all of them have stories to tell and lives to share with Hannah. Goods & Effects captures the beauty of rural life vividly and beautifully. Spread over a span of over 20 years, the community at Adele comes alive through Hannah’s interactions with it. Set in the 1960s to the 1980s, Hannah’s story is a refreshing read. The twists and turns say a lot and leave a lot unsaid. Pick up this book to experience the richness of life through a clever woman’s eyes.
In the introduction section of Goods & Effects, author Al Schnupp comments that this story was conceived as a screenplay. What a wonderful movie it could be! The setting, the characters, the development are all extremely well crafted. As much as I enjoyed reading the book, I believe it will make a great movie too. For some reason, it reminded me of Steel Magnolias. Hannah Mercer is a woman to be reckoned with. The reinvention of her life after loss touched me greatly. The life she builds, the people she meets, the lives she touches and allows herself to be touched by – these could be stories of anyone. The emotions the stories evoked are real, deep, and timeless. Al has done a brilliant job of capturing the tapestry of Hannah’s life over more than two decades. I recommend it highly for a refreshing read on slices of life.