"From the New York Times bestselling author of Le Divorce, a dazzling meditation on the mysteries of the "wispy but material" family ghosts who shape us. Growing up in the small river town of Moline, Illinois, Diane Johnson always dreamed of floating down the Mississippi and off to see the world. Years later, at home in France, a French friend teases her: 'Indifference to history--that's why you Americans seem so naive and don't really know where you're from.' The j'accuse stayed with Johnson. Were Americans indifferent to history? Her own family seemed always to have been in the Midwest. Surely they had got there from somewhere? In digging around, she discovers letters and memoirs written by generations of stalwart pioneer ancestors that testify to more complex times than the derisive nickname 'The Flyover' gives the region credit for. With the acuity and sympathy that her novels are known for, she captures the magnetic pull of home against our lust for escape and self-invention. This spellbinding memoir will appeal to fans of Bill Bryson, Patricia Hampl, and Annie Dillard"-- Provided by publisher.
I. In France A Weekend with the General II. Flyover Country Moline, pop. 34,000 My Moline Myopia Pastimes Economies Books III. Eighteenth-Century Beginnings How We All Descend from Greatness Ranna Anne and God Huts 1800 John Perkins Too Sees God Some Stories from the Life of Catharine Perkins The Story of Catharine Continued The Inappropriate Letter Catharine's Romance The Affair of the Locket Rascals The Elusive Eleazer Wedding Journey Bloomingburg Women's Work : Quilts Eleazer the Doctor Sorrow Depression Wars IV. Modern Days Watseka, Chenoa Rich in Uncles Summer In God We Trusted... The Dark Shadow Flyover Mademoiselle California Writer Silver Screen Uncle Bill Divorce London Emancipation Proclamation Defeat Yellow Morgan Chagrin Epilogue.