Editorial: A nice, long ‘Tale’

Thursday, November 15, 2012

One of the brighter aspects of winter in Genesee, Wyoming and Orleans counties comes thanks to the efforts of 19 area libraries, Genesee Community College and The Daily News, all sponsors of the annual Tale for Three Counties community reading project.

This year’s selection is Peter Troy’s debut historical novel, “May the Road Rise Up to Meet You.” The selection was announced at Tuesday’s official unveiling — an event that took place simultaneously at locations in all three counties, thus opening nearly three months of reading enjoyment and book discussions culminating in the author’s visit March 7-9.

“May the Road Rise Up to Meet You” opens in Ireland at the time of The Hunger. Mr. Troy says The Hunger is not given much space in history textbooks, and when it is, the story is often not told accurately. A former history teacher, he wanted to shine light on that dark chapter of history. In time, the story moves with one of its main characters to America, then expands to include other characters whose lives are greatly affected by the outbreak of this nation’s Civil War.

“The Tale book this year is a quintessential American story, full of hope and characters you have to root for, that combines rural life and New York State history into a wonderful storytelling stew that readers will surely find to their liking,” said Leslie DeLooze, community services librarian at Richmond Memorial Library, Batavia.

There is a timeliness to the selection of this book. First, the U.S. is observing the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. This is also a time when many people have lost hope. “May the Road Rise Up to Meet You” is a story about not losing hope, of keeping faith despite the worst of circumstances.

The Tale committee has done its usual excellent job of selecting a book with wide appeal and then offering activities to enhance the appreciation for the book. A schedule of book discussions will be posted on the Tale’s website, www.taleforthreecounties.org, on Dec. 3. A wealth of information about the book, its author and scheduled events is available on the website, as well.

Participation in The Tale for Three Counties has been growing each year since it was started in 2003. Its purpose is to engage readers of all ages in reading and discussing literature with themes that include small town or rural family life. Judging by the numbers of people who join book discussions and then come out to meet the featured authors, the project is an ongoing success.

“May the Road Rise Up to Meet You” is available for borrowing or purchase at public libraries in all three counties. It is a bit lengthier than some previous selections, so you may not want to wait too long to get your hands on a copy. Then you can settle in with a good story to warm your heart while winter outside rages.

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Courtesy of Batavia Newspapers Corporation

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