Bonnie Jo Campbell at Blue House Books

National Book Award Finalist Bonnie Jo Campbell is coming on Wednesday, February 21st

By Samantha Jacquest

Samantha Jacquest is the owner of Blue House Books, Kenosha's full-service independent bookstore in Downtown Kenosha. Sam loves sharing her love of books with the community and bringing in popular and local authors for events. When not at her shop, Sam enjoys traveling and spending time Downtown with her friends, family, and rescue dog Flash.

Join Blue House Books on Wednesday, February 21st to hear from Bonnie Jo about her latest novel, The Waters, which was chosen as the January Reads with Jenna Book Club pick!

Known as a master of rural noir, Bonnie Jo returns with a fierce, mesmerizing novel about exceptional women and the soul of a small town. With a “ruthless and precise eye for the details of the physical world” (Jane Smiley, New York Times Book Review), Bonnie Jo Campbell presents an elegant antidote to the dark side of masculinity, celebrating the resilience of nature and the brutality and sweetness of rural life.

Bonnie Jo will be in conversation with another midwestern author (TBA), and will be available to chat with readers and sign books! Her titles will be available during the event, but we encourage you to order a head of time to make sure you’re able to get a copy signed by the author herself.

About the Book

On an island in the Great Massasauga Swamp–an area known as “The Waters” to the residents of nearby Whiteheart, Michigan–herbalist and eccentric Hermine “Herself” Zook has healed the local women of their ailments for generations. As stubborn as her tonics are powerful, Herself inspires reverence and fear in the people of Whiteheart, and even in her own three estranged daughters. The youngest–the beautiful, inscrutable, and lazy Rose Thorn–has left her own daughter, eleven-year-old Dorothy “Donkey” Zook, to grow up wild.

Donkey spends her days searching for truths in the lush landscape and in her math books, waiting for her wayward mother and longing for a father, unaware that family secrets, passionate love, and violent men will flood through the swamp and upend her idyllic childhood. Rage simmers below the surface of this divided community, and those on both sides of the divide have closed their doors against the enemy. The only bridge across the waters is Rose Thorn.

About the Author

Bonnie Jo Campbell is the author of the novels Once Upon a River, a National Bestseller which was adapted into a full-length feature film released to international acclaim in 2020, and Q Road. Her critically-acclaimed short fiction collections include American Salvage, which was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critic’s Circle Award; Women and Other Animals, which won the AWP Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction; and Mothers, Tell Your Daughters. She was a 2011 Guggenheim Fellow whose other honors include a Pushcart Prize, the Eudora Welty Prize, and the Mark Twain Award. She lives outside Kalamazoo with her husband and two donkeys.