Book Review: ‘Bowlaway: A Novel’ Is A Fascinating Look At How A Mysterious Woman And Candlepin Bowling Influence A Town

So first off for those of you that do not know what candlepin is you use small bowls not big balls. I don’t think it’s available everywhere in this country. I know I grew up with it in the Northeast being from the Boston area. This story spans three generations and it’s common thread is candlepin bowling.

It all starts when a woman Bertha Truitt, a spit-fire of a woman, is found in a cemetery with nothing but a bowling ball, a pin and gold, in Salford, Massachusetts. She cannot or will not talk about his past. She does have a thing for bowling and opens up a new candlepin bowling alley and allows both men and women to play. She also turns heads when she marries a black doctor named Leviticus Sprague. The bowling alley is a success and she becomes royalty in the town. She has a baby girl and becomes friends with everyone.

When she’s killed in a strange flood it brings shock-waves to the town and what will become of the alley. Then a man arrives in town claiming to be her son and takes over the bowling alley and starts to alienate people. We follow his story and then the stories of more of the people involved in the alley and how they lived their lives.

The one thing that they all have in common is bowling.

It’s a fascinating story with great characters, interesting story and of course bowling. I love to bowl and I prefer the small balls. With secrets, betrayals and again bowling, it’s a really fun read and will make you want to go out and bowl (yes I am back to bowling again!).

You can pick it up in stores on Tuesday, February 5th, from Ecco.

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