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Monday, September 10, 2018

Virgil Wander review

This product was provided to me at no cost.  Whether positive or negative, my review is my own and may differ from others opinions.  

Virgil Wander

Title:  Virgil Wander
Series: a novel
Author: Leif Enger
Where to purchase: Amazon
Print Length: 352 pages
Publication Date: October 2nd, 2018
ISBN: 0802128785
Publisher: Grove Press
Edition: paperback
Genre: adult fiction, literary fiction

I received an uncorrected proof of Virgil Wander from a Bookish First book raffle. I also requested a digital advanced reader copy ebook from Netgalley for review purposes.

BOOK LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon |  


The first novel in ten years from award-winning, million-copy bestselling author Leif Enger, Virgil Wander is an enchanting and timeless all-American story that follows the inhabitants of a small Midwestern town in their quest to revive its flagging heart. Midwestern movie house owner Virgil Wander is "cruising along at medium altitude" when his car flies off the road into icy Lake Superior. Virgil survives but his language and memory are altered and he emerges into a world no longer familiar to him. Awakening in this new life, Virgil begins to piece together his personal history and the lore of his broken town, with the help of a cast of affable and curious locals--from Rune, a twinkling, pipe-smoking, kite-flying stranger investigating the mystery of his disappeared son; to Nadine, the reserved, enchanting wife of the vanished man; to Tom, a journalist and Virgil's oldest friend; and various members of the Pea family who must confront tragedies of their own. Into this community returns a shimmering prodigal son who may hold the key to reviving their town.

With intelligent humor and captivating whimsy, Leif Enger conjures a remarkable portrait of a region and its residents, who, for reasons of choice or circumstance, never made it out of their defunct industrial district. Carried aloft by quotidian pleasures including movies, fishing, necking in parked cars, playing baseball and falling in love, Virgil Wander is a swift, full journey into the heart and heartache of an often overlooked American Upper Midwest by a "formidably gifted" (Chicago Tribune) master storyteller.

Main Characters

  • Virgil Wander- owner of The Empress, a movie theater
  • Marcus Jetty- owner of the town's local salvage yard, saved Virgil's life
  • Alec Sandrom- missing/deceased former baseball player, married to Nadine with son Bjorn
  • Rune Eliassen, a Norwegian man, Alec's father who moved in with Virgil
  • Adam Leer- town 'celebrity'


The story starts after Virgil is released from the hospital after a car accident that left him with some memory loss and without the verbal ability to describe his thoughts. He feels separated from his life as if it belongs to someone else, going along reintroducing himself to the locals in the down-on-it's-luck village of Greenstone. Through the story we meet a wide cast of characters in Virgil's life including co-workers, friends, and various other townspeople he comes into contact with. 


Set in the town of Greenstone, Minnesota


Virgil Wander is a book about rebuilding your life and luck.

What did I like about the book?

I think the characters were well written with diverse lives, hobbies, and drama. Even though the main character has a problem with words, the author does not and I could easily picture what was going on. What I liked the most was the sheer amount of bad luck this one location seems to have, and has possessed for quite a long time. The most exciting part of the story was the ending, and not just because I was finally done but because there was a little bit of action in the last couple of pages.

What did I not like about the book?

I guess I'm fairly new to the literary fiction genre and had a hard time getting into the story, not because it was bad but more it felt like it didn't progress.

Date Started/Finished : August 20th - September 9th, 2018

This book took me SO long to read! I just could NOT get into it. If I hadn't signed up to leave a review I would have DNF'd it and went on with my life. Instead I read FIVE other books while reading this. I ended up having to trick myself by reading a chapter at a time if not I found myself going days without any progress.

Recommend? No

If you read the same types of books that I do, then this will not be your cup of tea. Do you like adult literary fiction? Do you like books about small town communities? Do you like slow plot lines? If so, you may like this book. If you answered maybe or no- pass on it.

Rating: 2/*****
based off Goodreads' ratings: 2 stars – it was OK. Not really impressed

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Disclosure: This book was provided to me for free from a Bookish First Raffle and I requested the digital copy on Netgalley. Whether positive or negative, my blog review is my own and may differ from others opinions. This review is simply a compilation of my thoughts and opinions of this book.  If you have any questions, just post them and I'll be happy to answer as best as I can. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

**No monetary compensation was received for this review. Posts may contain affiliate or referral links. Thank you for your support!**

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