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A Novel Idea Book Group

January 12 @ 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

A Novel Idea Book Group will be discussing Heat & Light by Jennifer Haigh.

Use the link below to easily join our discussion from your computer, tablet or smartphone. You can also dial in using your phone at (646) 749-3112 and Access Code 131-868-325

Pick up a copy of the book using our Curbside Pickup service, available Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Use our designated Curbside spaces in the parking lot and call (814) 536-5131 and select option 2.


Jennifer Haigh returns to the Pennsylvania town at the center of her iconic novel Baker Towers, in this ambitious, achingly human story of modern America and the conflicting forces at its heart.

Forty years ago, Bakerton coal fueled the country. Then the mines closed, and the town wore away like a bar of soap. Now Bakerton has been granted a surprise third act: it sits squarely atop the Marcellus Shale, a massive deposit of natural gas.

To drill or not to drill? Prison guard Rich Devlin leases his mineral rights to finance his dream of farming. He doesn’t count on the truck traffic and nonstop noise, his brother’s skepticism or the paranoia of his wife, Shelby, who insists the water smells strange and is poisoning their frail daughter. Meanwhile his neighbors, organic dairy farmers Mack and Rena, hold out against the drilling—until a passionate environmental activist disrupts their lives.

Heat and Light depicts a community blessed and cursed by its natural resources. Soaring, ambitious, it zooms from drill rig to shareholders’ meeting to the Three Mile Island nuclear reactor to the ruined landscape of the “strippins,” haunting reminders of Pennsylvania’s past energy booms. This is a dispatch from a forgotten America—a work of searing moral clarity from one of the finest writers of her generation, a courageous and necessary book.


January 12
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
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