I’d like to welcome B.R.A.G. Medallion Damon Wolfe today to talk with me about his book, Tanglewood. Damon writes for 12-year-olds of all ages. Why 12? Because 12 is the best of times, and the worst of times, and throughout life, whenever we find ourselves in the best of times or the worst of times, the 12-year-old within us shows up, and helps us enjoy the moment and survive the day.
His stories combine comedy, mystery and action. Themes in his work are often built around the challenges of leaving childhood, and the boldness required to grow up while helping others grow.
Like many writers Damon has developed his craftsmanship over many years while working in other fields. His experience and education includes:
- Executive Producer and cofounder of Stereobox, a visual effects and animation startup company in Marin County, California, and Chennai India.
- Computer Graphics Supervisor at Robert Zemeckis’ ImageMovers Digital, a Disney Animation Studio in Marin County, California.
- Artist and Technical Director at Wild Brain Animation Studio in San Francisco.
- Degree in Traditional and Computer Animation, Vancouver Film School.
- Artist and Graphic Designer at various startup companies and video game studios.
- Before his career in entertainment Damon was a medical doctor. His specialty was child psychiatry.
Hello, Damon! How did you discover indieBRAG?
I researched sites and blogs that provide reviews of independently published books. I recall that indieBRAG was mentioned on more than one “review of best review sites” posts, but I’m sure the link I clicked was listed on writeforkids.org.
Please tell me about your story, Tanglewood?
Tanglewood is about 11-year-old fraternal twins Jen and Ben who have a deep affection for the stand of bamboo that surrounds an unsold house across the street from them. Jen, especially, senses that the bamboo is more than just a plant, as if it has a spirit within that makes it almost human. They look forward to playing in the yard surrounded by the bamboo all summer, but then learn that they have to go to sleep-away camp so their pregnant work-at-home mom can complete a clothing design project before the baby is born. Jen and Ben are not camp kids, so they dread going. But before camp the house with the bamboo is sold to Nash, the father of a school bully, a boy named Stones, who embarrassed them horribly on the last day of school. Nash and Stones cut down the bamboo and tear its roots from the ground. The assault devastates them, and everything goes from bad to worse when they learn that Nash will be the cook at their camp, and Stones will be his assistant. On top of that, Nash is a strict vegetarian, but not for the usual reason — he believes plants are mankind’s mortal enemy. Nash is a vegetarian because “we need to eat plants before they eat us,” and he’s raised Stones to have a fear that plants are biding their time, and could attack at any moment. So the twins, who want to do something to keep Stones from bothering them at camp, create a life-sized creature from the hewn bamboo, and name it Tanglewood.
While Ben is busy building Tanglewood, Jen convinces Stones that she and her brother are friends with the bamboo he destroyed, and that it’s coming to get him. On the night before leaving for summer camp they maneuver their creature across the street, and their plan works, but in the chaos they have to flee, and they lose Tanglewood. Unseen by anyone, the bamboo puppet actually comes to life, and hides in Nash’s truck bed, which is packed up in preparation to bring his equipment and supplies to camp the next day. That’s the set-up. The bulk of the story takes place at camp, which is both unfamiliar and poorly organized. Jen and Ben find Tanglewood alive wandering in the woods. After the shock, they realize that Tanglewood is nothing like the powerful, protective creature they imagined when creating what they envisioned as a kind of older sibling to protect them. Instead they wind up having to protect their creation, because Tanglewood is actually a new being who does not understand what he is, or what is going on around him. Tanglewood is as naïve and curious as a very young child, and there is nothing truly dangerous about him. When he encounters Jen and Ben he immediately senses a connection between him and then, and becomes attached, to Jen, especially. He’s needy. In order to protect Tanglewood, Jen and Ben have to improvise, break rules, figure out how to communicate with a plant-being who does not speak, and maneuver constantly so that Nash never discovers him.
Along the way, Stones gets dragged into the mix, but, because the tables are turned, Jen leverages Stones’s fear of Tanglewood to dominate her former nemesis, and in the process she inadvertently sets up conditions for Stones to undergo a complete transformation. Of course, Nash does discover Tanglewood, and the kids must draw upon everything within themselves in order to keep Tanglewood from being destroyed. Through the story Tanglewood gains insight and independence, and, assisted by an encounter with a neighboring Taiko drumming camp, comes to understand his true nature and purpose. Tanglewood is a coming-to-life journey which reveals the powerful connection that exists between all living things. It’s a tale of transformation, and a story that explores the contemporary challenge to see our lives and the life of the natural environment as inseparable.
What is the relationship like between Jen and Ben?
They are two sides of the same coin. There’s a scene between Jen and her mother where Jen expresses concern that she isn’t as girly as she’s supposed to be. The mom explains the concept of “The Other” to Jen, i.e., that each person is a mixture of qualities that most of us mistakenly think of as separate from ourselves. Jen and Ben have a close relationship not so much because they are twins or because they live in the same family, but because they complement one another. Jen is more physically competitive, more outwardly expressive, messier, more impulsive. She’s a very creative thinker, a natural improviser. Ben, on the other hand, is quieter, prefers neatness to anything messy, and is more contemplative. He’s also creative, but in a very different way than his sister. Ben is really good at making things, whereas Jen is good at making things up. Jen comes up with the idea to make Tanglewood as a solution to their problem with the bully, Stones. But Ben is the one who figures out how to make Tanglewood as a real thing, and then constructs it himself. The relationship between Jen and Ben is stressed to its limits at camp. Jen is driven to protect Tanglewood as her highest priority, which leads to things like her hiding with Tanglewood in the woods instead of sleeping in her cabin. Ben is left with the business of making sure that Jen’s absence isn’t discovered. And as events pile up, and Jen makes up next their next move as conditions change, Ben has to shift from one set of half-solved problems to another, which drives him crazy, but his devotion to his sister keeps him going. For a chunk of time the situation separates them from each other, and we can see how their individual qualities begin to mix: Ben is forced to improvise, and Jen has to deal with the consequences of her improvisations without Ben’s help.
What is one of the adventures they encounter?
Jen and Ben, like many kids, prefer hamburgers and hot dogs to vegetables. Their father knows the camp will serve a vegetarian diet because Nash is the cook, so when he drops them off he gives them each a 3-pound bag of beef jerky as a gift. At the first camp meeting Nash announces his strict “no meat policy” and has already searched a few cabins for contraband. He brandishes one of the bags of jerky, which happens to be Jen’s. So the twins leave that meeting, race to get Ben’s bag of jerky, and then dash into the woods to stash it. That’s when they find Tanglewood, alive. After the initial shock, Jen, Ben and Tanglewood settle into their first close encounter, a moment filled with awe and wonder for each. Then Nash’s booming voice penetrates the woods as he announces that the cabin assigned kitchen duty for the week has to show up for work. The sound of Nash’s voice frightens Tanglewood, who runs deeper into the woods and Jen takes off after him. Ben realizes he’s in the cabin assigned kitchen duty, so he’s is forced to return to the camp, dreading having to be in the kitchen with both Nash and Stones while not knowing where his sister is. As he approaches the kitchen he realizes he’s still holding on the bag of beef jerky — he’d forgotten to ditch it in the woods. Just before he enters the kitchen he flings the bag over his shoulder just to get rid of it. The bag lands in the back of Nash’s truck. That bag of jerky pays off later in the book, triggering Nash into action that leads to a big chase through the woods toward the ultimate confrontation between him, the kids, and Tanglewood.
What is a bachi?
Bachi is the Japanese name of the sticks used to beat the large, barrel-shaped Taiko drums. Bachi are much thicker and heavier than standard drum sticks. The role they play in the story is that they’re given as a gift to Tanglewood by Senpai, the master teacher of the Taiko drum camp located over the ridge from Jen and Ben’s camp. Tanglewood responds to vibrations, and the beat of the Taiko drums draws Tanglewood to the drumming camp where he meets Senpai. Senpai believes that music and rhythm are a language bridge between all forms of life, enabling us to communicate with plants. I wanted to push the concept of music as common language to its limit, and I wanted to use vibrations, sound and rhythm as the means for Tanglewood to develop his understanding of who and what he is. When Tanglewood grasps the bachi, he senses the connection between himself and the inanimate sticks. Eventually Tanglewood discovers that the bachi enable him to cause trees to sway, and facilitate his ability to protect the forest trees from Nash when Nash goes on a destructive rampage.
What are Jen’s strengths?
Jen is loyal, energetic, has a profound confidence in her own power, and desires to be a protective force. Her confidence and power set up the conditions for her character to illustrate the thin line between power used for good versus power used for evil. Both protectiveness and aggression require force, and, although Tanglewood is nature, Jen’s character represents the force of nature. We tend to hold onto the cliché that nature is sublime and benevolent, but, in fact, nature is an awesomely powerful entity that should scare us as much as it conjures images of beauty, peace, and calm. Jen’s character reveals the duality of nature, that it is both creator and destroyer. One of the foundational ideas in the book is that we and nature are continuous and connected, and that animals in general and humans, specifically, do not exist as a separate entity. While Jen and Ben represent diverse aspects of being human, it’s the contrasting intentions and disturbing similarities between Jen and Nash that support the theme of nature as power. Although Nash is undeniably cruel, and his world view that plants are at war with humanity seems distorted, his concept of nature as a dangerous force is not wrong. Jen, on the other hand, takes action motivated by the will to be a protective force, but she has many moments where her willfulness skirts the edge of cruelty. Jen’s dual qualities and the question whether she will use her power for protection rather than cruelty plays itself out in the complex relationship between her and Stones.
What was the inspiration for your story?
Tanglewood is the convergence of six concepts and entities that have provoked my interest and curiosity for many years, and then applying the essential “What if…?” question to each. Specifically:
FRATERNAL TWINS: What if a pair of fraternal twins wished they had an older sibling?
OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH NATURE: What if plants have a soul or spirit within them that is similar to the soul or spirit we believe lives within ourselves?
BAMBOO: What if bamboo came to life as an animate being?
FOOD: What if a vegetarian ate plants not because he wants to spare animals, but because he believes plants are competing with people to dominate the planet and are mankind’s mortal enemy?
MUSIC: What if music is a truly universal language that connects not only human cultures, but all forms of life including plants
SUMMER CAMP: Summer camp is supposed to be fun, but what if it’s not?
What is one of the underlying inspiration themes in the story?
I’m fascinated by the emerging multicultural world. We’re at a moment in history where more and more people throughout the world are raised with and have to reconcile the divergent western and eastern philosophies about spirituality and about the forces that enabled life to evolve. I wanted Tanglewood to be a story that, at its foundation, portrays a world where dualism exists, where imagination is a fundamental tool that enables us to integrate contradictions. Underneath all its action and adventure, and alongside the magical idea that plants share a spiritual intelligence with us, Tanglewood is a metaphor for the urgent challenge we face in the contemporary world: to embrace the fabric that unifies us all.
Will you please share an excerpt?
This excerpt takes place after Jen and Ben have discovered their bamboo creation, Tanglewood, alive in the woods surrounding their camp, camp Triple-Bar. They’ve spent enough time with Tanglewood to realize that, although made of bamboo and as tall as a thirteen-year-old he behaves like a very young child. The problem at the moment is that Ben has already officially checked in with his cabin counselor but Jen has not. They’re approaching the camp from the woods and have Tanglewood with them.
The field at Triple-Bar was the camp’s largest open space. Between two posts at one end of the field stretched a long cord used for air-drying bed sheets.
Sheets hung along the cord’s entire length to build up a stock of fresh ones before the kids began ruining them with dirt, the occasional bed wetting, and vomit, which happened at least once a day at camp even when there wasn’t a stomach flu going around.
Jen, Ben, and Tanglewood neared the edge of the field as they descended the last bit of slope. Ben saw the sheets. “Let’s go there,” he said.
Jen hung back with Tanglewood, making sure he stayed completely hidden behind some trees, while Ben moved to the sheets and peered through a crack between two of them to see if the coast was clear.
The area surrounding the sheets was empty enough, but the rest of the field was in the same chaos they had seen when they first drove up, only this time there were more objects flying through the air. Frisbees, volleyballs, badminton shuttlecocks, all shooting up and coming down like popcorn above an undulating sea of dust in the middle distance.
Ben returned to Jen and Tanglewood. “It’s crazy in there but maybe that will help. You’ve got to check in with somebody and at least get your name crossed off a list. Where is your cabin?”
Before Jen could respond an arrow pierced one of the sheets and stuck into a tree trunk with a thwockita-sproing only four feet away from her and Tanglewood.
“Wally!” a counselor shouted from somewhere in the chaos. “There’s no archery allowed yet, Wally!!”
“Then why was the equipment closet with all the cool stuff in it left unlocked?!?” the kid named Wally yelled back.
Back behind the sheets Jen and Ben watched the arrow vibrate until it came to a full rest.
“Maybe it’s better if nobody knows I’m here,” Jen said.
“That’s insane, Jen! When you’re nowhere to be found they’ll call Mom and Dad. Then everyone will ask me what’s going on. You know how terrible I am at lying!”
As great as Ben was at making things he was truly bad at making things up.
“I wasn’t being that serious!” Jen said. Then she turned to Tanglewood, patted his cheek, and gesticulated as she explained. “OK. Tanglewood, you have to stay here for just a bit, you just stay with Ben. Ben will take care of you. I’ll be right back, there’s just some work I have to do but then you’ll see me again, soon, all right?”
Jen convinced herself that Tanglewood understood and accepted what she just said, so she turned to go, but Tanglewood threw himself at her, same as before. He just would not let her out of his sight.
Ben tried to entice Tanglewood away from his sister. “Here you go, Tanglewood. Over here. C’mon, boy. That’s a good boy!” Ben beckoned, using a sappy voice as he patted the front of his thighs.
“Oh for heck’s sake, he’s not a dog, Ben!” Jen said.
Then she turned to Tanglewood, speaking, this time, with more firmness in her voice, as if talking to a resistant two-year-old. “Tanglewood, you are going to be fine without me for five minutes.”
Tanglewood clutched her leg and sat on her feet while shaking his head vigorously.
“Hey, he understands how to say ‘no’.” Ben said, genuinely impressed now that he thought of Tanglewood as a toddler.
Jen sighed. “We need another plan.”
Ben said, “Maybe we can dress him, disguise him like he’s just another kid, really cover him up and no one will notice, not for a little while, anyway. You have that poncho thingie that Mom gave you. It has a hood, right?”
Maybe because his idea to hide Tanglewood under some clothes was as close to a complete lie as Ben had ever thought up, Jen was impressed. So impressed that she overlooked all its obvious flaws, except for one.
“Problem: You’ll have to go get the poncho. Plus get some bandanas. They’re all still in my duffel.”
“I can’t just walk into a girl’s cabin!”
“You can if you’re me,” Jen said, as she began taking her shoes off.
“What are you doing?” Ben said.
“We’re switching clothes. Put your hair up with this.” She pulled her elastic ponytail band off and handed it to Ben, along with several strands of her hair that were knotted in it.
“Ick,” Ben said, taking it with two fingers.
A minute later Jen was in Ben’s clothes and Ben in Jen’s.
* * *
Where in your home do you like to write and what is your process?
I write in a 1959 “canned ham” style travel trailer parked in my driveway. I rebuilt the trailer myself specifically as writing studio. The trailer studio project was born of pure necessity for space, not just by the desire to have a cool writing room. However, it is a perfect combination of comfort, minimalism and style — a box of light that inspires and opens my mind every time I walk in. Here is a picture:
The full story motivating the trailer rebuild is posted on my site as an essay titled, “Rehabilitation”. Briefly, my household filled up a few years ago when my mother-in-law needed to move in with us because of her frail health.
My writing process begins with ideas that emerge from stream-of-consciousness. I truly don’t know where the ideas come from, but when an idea hits and I like it, I immediately write it down. Usually characters arrive before the main narrative. Once a character takes shape I begin writing monologues. When I have more than one character, I put them together and write down their conversations no matter how superficial or deep. I write lots of dialog during the early phases. I’ll convert some dialog into action, and some into a character’s internal thought process. As the conflicts and narrative take shape, I conjure scenes, a habit I developed learning to write screenplays, which require creating many, many scenes then eliminating ones that don’t have dramatic energy, or that don’t have a satisfying payoff down the line.
Throughout the writing process I’ll maintain a document where I develop and outline the subtext of the story. That subtext document has two critical purposes. First, it reinforces the dramatic questions and goals for the story. Second, it helps me identify aspects of the story that need to be converted into action, events and character behavior, and away from description or explanation.
For developing action, and plotting, I find I have more success if I’m away from my laptop. It helps to be in motion, so I’ll go on long walks, always carrying a notebook, a red pencil, a blue pencil, and a graphite pencil. I often use my phone as a note-taking device. I used to exercise by running outdoors, but I get so many ideas while running that I now use a treadmill at a gym because it’s much safer typing into my smart phone while in motion on a steady machine without cars nearby or uneven terrain underneath.
When I’m in creative mode my mind is immersed in the story and characters most of the time I’m awake, whether or not I’m physically writing. I’ve developed strategies to keep track of thoughts with short notes. I rarely use audio to record ideas because it’s easier and faster to telegraph a thought with a few written words or a quick sketch. Back when I commuted in the car, I kept a dry erase marker on hand, scribbling thoughts or symbols on my windshield. I got good at writing along the edges of the windshield without taking my eyes off traffic. The shower is another a place I needed a note-taking solution. Standing under running water always opens up the flood gates. I told my wife “I wish I could take notes in the shower.” She searched online, and two days later I had my first pack of Aqua Notes, a 40-sheet pad of waterproof paper with suction cups you attach to tile or glass. It comes with a standard pencil. Even if the water is on full and is superhot, those notes, once written, do not run.
For narrative structure, I usually start with 3×5 cards, but I’ll hit a point where I stop using the cards, and create a document that lists slug lines of major story beats. Under each beat I’ll write down essential details of what happens in each of the scenes comprising the beat. Then I’ll go back and forth between the “beats document” and separate documents for each scene. I’ve become a big fan of the software “Scrivener” for the creation phases because it’s built to address the classic “blizzard of paper” reality inherent to long-form writing, where you’ve got plot threads, character notes, research and miscellaneous bits spread all over the place. Scrivener makes cross-referencing easy, and streamlines the winnowing and consolidation process as I reduce a story down to its essential scenes.
Sometimes scenes equate to chapters, but I use Acts as a fundamental structural framework. As the Act structure clarifies, I’ll assign and refine chapters based on the pacing and sub-arcs I want to deliver in each Act’s beginning-middle-end.
During all phases of the writing process I spend time scribbling and sketching with pencil on paper. So many of my ideas have nonverbal origins and aspects inaccessible using words and sentences as primary instruments. I may discover new characters, or clarify unique attributes of existing characters. I’ll also draw maps and floor plans to visualize layouts of exterior environments and interior spaces. These schematics help me identify opportunities for action, help me clarify staging and improve plausibility of timeframes between related or simultaneous events.
I’ll also use paper and pencil to diagram thematic forces, colliding arcs, and sources and streams of conflict. I find if I can’t diagram the story clearly using abstract symbols then something is either missing or implausible.
When I’ve completed a write-through, I’ll consolidate the book into one document before I start mercilessly editing, slashing out all the parts readers tend to skip (my favorite Elmore Leonard tip). Painful as it can be, I enjoy the editing process. I always read my work out loud, and favor rhythmic fluidity over grammatical perfection.
I use beta readers to help figure out what works and what doesn’t. Beta readers are particularly helpful identifying whether the pacing is working, or not.
Who designed your book cover?
I did. My background in illustration and animation gave me the confidence to do it myself.
What are you working on next?
Most of my writing time this year is devoted to my next novel, The Neighborhood. This one will skew toward readers a little older than Tanglewood. The Neighborhood is about kids who live in a unique setting — an isolated neighborhood designed by a modernist utopian architect. Every house has a wall of glass wrapped around its front, where the living room, dining room and kitchen are located — the public spaces of private homes. The people who live in the neighborhood don’t mind that level of transparency. No one who lives there obstructs the outer view into those public spaces with curtains, shutters, walls or landscaping. There are no fences or walls anywhere in the neighborhood, creating a universal backyard space that enables the kids to lead a free-range life.
So the question is whether the neighborhood is a place where everyone is more connected to each other, or is it just a magnet for weirdos where everyone’s secrets and lies are buried that much deeper? Within the microcosm of the neighborhood freedom of movement and trust in others is unlike what kids today experience — not in the USA, anyway. The kids of the neighborhood exist as a self-generated subculture. Without over-scheduled lives, parental micromanagement, and with room to move around, they are forced to confront the realities of living with others: adapting to difference, and managing unpredictability. The narrative bombards the kids with changes that pile up and challenge their abilities to adapt and tolerate. The main characters range between 11 and 13, a time when kids face one of life’s most dramatic shifts: the transition away from imagination as the fundamental fuel for play and fun, to the phase where imagination becomes an essential instrument needed to solve real conflicts and real problems.
The transparency angle is, in part, a metaphor for social media. We’re all unsure whether the constant public exhibition and viewing of facts and artifacts is a good or bad thing. The Neighborhood addresses the question how can we leverage increasing openness so that we become more relational, and less transactional? Are our relationships amplifying our compassion and collective will to make the world a better place? Or do we value connections only for what they can do for us, personally?
The neighborhood’s open architecture, landscape and attitudes are rooted in nostalgia, but the story’s plot lines address the challenges and confusion we’ve created for the current generation: How do we accommodate difference? How do we distinguish differences due to diversity from differences imposed by injustice? How can we hold onto wonder, curiosity and optimism in an era when people flock to cynicism, doubt and fear?
The cast of characters in The Neighborhood is an ensemble composed of widely diverse personalities, and the main character, arguably, is the neighborhood itself. Ultimately, the story is about how communities are created and evolve, and how to maintain our connection to the past as we accommodate the changes needed to improve the future.
That’s the deepest layer of subtext. My goal, as exemplified in Tanglewood, is to write stories with multiple layers such that a wide range of ages will have plenty of entertainment and, if they seek it, food for thought. I love literature and all entertainment designed to be fun, dramatic and meaningful, but the fun and drama is accessible to all while the meaningfulness is optional — the audience can see it, not see it, or ignore it, and the story still pulls you in and works. PIXAR’s storytellers are geniuses when it comes to that sleight of hand.
Two other projects I plan to complete this year:
I’m developing a short film idea for a filmmaker friend.
I’m finishing up a long-form essay on my experience working in India to develop a visual effects company I co-founded with colleagues from my animation days. The two months I spent working 80-hour weeks in India changed my view of the world, and my understanding of myself. Not a complete surprise, but the experience changed me much more than I had imagined.
Do you stick with just genre?
It depends on what “genre” means. I know that’s a weasel-y response, so I’ll clarify.
I don’t think my work fits, or will fit, into clear-cut genres, which I realize is a risk. Tanglewood, for example, has a fantasy element, but calling it “Fantasy” would be considered misleading by most fans of true Fantasy. One of my favorite comments about Tanglewood comes from an 11-year-old reader who said she loved the book because it has “believable magic”.
I write for middle-graders and young high-schoolers, but are “Juvenile Fiction” or “Young Adult” genres? They seem more like clusters of age-appropriateness, and say nothing about where their stories fit in the narrative spectrum.
I have stories planned that might be thought of as genre, like “Lunatics” which takes place in the future at a reform school on the Moon.
I’m sure my tag line, “I write for twelve-year-olds of all ages” will always hold true. And I’m sure most stories I plan to write will be a cross between magical realism and contemporary fiction. I’ve heard convincing arguments that those descriptions aren’t distinct enough to qualify as genres.
I see that you have a strong love for Historical Fiction. That’s clearly a genre, and a very challenging one to pull off. I think I have one historical fiction novel in me. The French Revolution and Cooking are probably the only two areas I’d be willing to research in depth enough to write a story worthy of Historical Fiction. I have a plan for a story that takes place right after the French Revolution. Post-revolutionary France was basically where and when the restaurant was born, and one of the reasons for that was the glut of chefs who no longer had an aristocracy to employ them. So, the basic idea is: “A chef from a French aristocratic estate is without a job after the French Revolution, and opens up a restaurant during the Reign of Terror.” I love cooking, and am fascinated by the way restaurants run, how menus are developed, and by the contrast between the chaotic clanging rush in the back-of-house kitchen and the orderly, calming atmosphere of the front-of-house dining area. The dictatorial organization of kitchen hierarchy creates an apt microcosm — a type of “reign of terror,” complete with its own set of slicing tools. There’s comedy in there, somewhere, along with the slings and arrows of surviving in an unforgiving environment. The Restaurant Business and Post-revolutionary France: they have a lot in common.
A message from BRAG:
We are delighted that Stephanie has chosen to interview Damon Wolfe who is the author of, Tanglewood, our medallion honoree at indieBRAG . To be awarded a B.R.A.G. Medallion TM, a book must receive unanimous approval by a group of our readers. It is a daunting hurdle and it serves to reaffirm that a book such as, Tanglewood, merits the investment of a reader’s time and money.
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