Every character in Christina Schwarz’ newest novel, So Long at the Fair, is in a dysfunctional relationship, and there are many characters and many relationships. Yes, each struggles to find true love and personal fulfillment, but these self-indulgent egotists manage to look in all the wrong places and at all the wrong people. Their search results in a novel that is replete with love triangles and unrequited feelings.
Beneath the superficiality of these affairs, however, are oddly philosophical ideas that appear to motivate, or perhaps explain, the actions of the characters. One character, for instance, identifies himself as a person who cares more about how things function than about how they look. Another wonders whether it is more important to be happy than to be good. Still another character responds by claiming that some people believe “being happy is the ultimate good.” Unfortunately, no one in this novel is happy. Whether any are good is a matter of opinion.
Those looking for a light novel with a few twists, lots of small-town attitudes, and plenty of natural Wisconsin imagery will find this novel enjoyable and a quick read.