Oslo, Maine: A Novel (Paperback)

Oslo, Maine: A Novel By Marcia Butler Cover Image
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"This book will break your heart and heal it." - E.J. Levy, author of The Cape Doctor

A pregnant moose walks into a rural Maine town called Oslo, looking for food and a place to deliver her calf. Just as when strangers run into each other on the street, the movement of the moose determines the fate of three families in the town as they grapple with trauma, marriage, ambition, and their fraught relationship with the natural world.

Meet Pierre Roy, a brilliant twelve-year-old, who loses his memory in an accident. Then Claude Roy, Pierre’s blustery and proud fourth-generation Maine father who cannot, or will not, acknowledge the too-real and frightening fact of his son’s injury. And his wife, Celine, a once-upon-a-time traditional housewife and mother who descends into pills as a way of coping. 

Enter Sandra and Jim Kimbrough, musicians and recent Maine transplants who scrape together a meager living as performers while shoring up the loose ends by attempting to live off the grid. 

Finally, the wealthy widow "from away," Edna Sibley, whose dependent adult grandson is addicted to 1980’s Family Feud episodes. 

Their disparate backgrounds and views on life make for, at times, uneasy neighbors. But when Sandra begins to teach Pierre the violin, forces beyond their control converge. The boy discovers that through sound he can enter a world without pain from the past nor worry for the future. He becomes a preadolescent existentialist and invents an unconventional method to come to terms with his memory loss, all the while attempting to protect, and then forgive, those who’ve failed him.

Oslo, Maine is a character-driven novel exploring class and economic disparity. It inspects the strengths and limitations of seven average yet extraordinary people as they reckon with their considerable collective failure around Pierre’s accident. 

Alliances unravel. Long held secrets are exposed. And throughout, the ever-present moose is the linchpin that drives this richly drawn story, filled with heartbreak and hope, to its unexpected conclusion.

"(T)he flawed but deeply relatable characters in Butler's second novel ... exude an authentic sense of humanity, making this a sure-fire recommendation for Fredrik Backman fans." —Carol Haggas, Booklist

A seductive, imaginative, and utterly unique story; an astute and compassionate foray into the intersecting lives of characters who are both ordinary and exceptional, saintly and deeply flawed." —Karen Dionne, #1 internationally bestselling author of The Wicked Sister

About the Author

Marcia Butler has had a number of creative careers: professional musician, interior designer, documentary filmmaker, and author. As an oboist, the New York Times hailed her as a “first rate artist.” Acclaimed interior designs include projects in New York City, Boston, and Miami. After many decades in New York City, Marcia now makes her home in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Praise For…

“Butler’s characters are such complex, authentically flawed humans, you can’t help but root for them. But then there’s the moose…Butler’s moose is a moose, and we never lose that essential fact. It was a brilliant choice to open the novel in the moose’s perspective to immediately establish her stakes in the story… Oslo, Maine is an engaging, wonderfully nuanced novel.” – Jaimee Colbert Wriston, New York Journal of Books

“For all their furtiveness, the flawed but deeply relatable characters in Butler's second novel, exude an authentic sense of humanity, making this a sure-fire recommendation for Fredrik Backman (A Man Called Ove) fans.” – Carol Haggis, Booklist

"Wildly plotted, astutely observed, and brimming with wit. Marcia Butler explores the blunt, hard follies of human nature with verve and humor in this innovative and charming novel." – Adrienne Brodeur, author of the national bestselling memoir, Wild Game

“I raced through this novel in one breathless sitting. Highly recommended!” – Karen Dionne, #1 internationally bestselling author of The Wicked Sister

“Marcia Butler is a master dramatist, a sorceress, and extraordinary novelist.” – E. J. Levy, author of Love, In Theory and The Cape Doctor

"The fictional, titular town hosts a complicated page-turner of a story spurred by the fallout from a young boy’s violent run-in with a moose, and though the pacing is breezy, the grappling with interpersonal and interspecies relationships is not." – Will Grunewald, DownEast Magazine

"The town itself and its rural Maine setting are almost characters themselves in the adept hands of this novelist, who draws upon her own musical background to bring the story to life."
Manhattan Book Review

"Butler (Pickle's Progress) writes beautifully and with depth, each character mined for internal gems."  – Shelf Awareness

Product Details
ISBN: 9781771682312
ISBN-10: 1771682310
Publisher: Central Avenue Publishing
Publication Date: March 2nd, 2021
Pages: 224
Language: English