The Last Days of Dogtown
In her third novel, the author of The Red Tent and Good Harbor again breaks old ground, this time on early-19th-century Cape Ann. The community of Dogtown is a dying village populated by a mélange of prostitutes, widows, oddballs, and former slaves. And also dogs, who provide some of the many vivid personalities in this poignant, beautifully written tale. Diamant's fans won't be surprised to see that she continues to excel at creating memorable characters, including the independent Judy Rhines, who is in love with an ex-slave. But the character that's the most moving is the dying town itself.