The Mammoth Cheese

Sheri Holman

An Our Town for our times, The Mammoth Cheese is beautifully crafted and driven by warm, vibrant characters as it follows the residents of rural Three Chimneys, Virginia, on their journey to re-create the original Thomas Jefferson-era, 1,235-pound “Mammoth Cheese.”

As the book opens, the town is joyously celebrating the birth of the Frank Eleven: eleven babies simultaneously born to Manda and James Frank after fertility treatments. But as autumn progresses and the babies weaken, the community seeks to redeem itself through the making and transporting of a symbolic Mammoth Cheese to Washington, as a gift for the newly elected President Brooke. The cheese is the brainchild of August Vaughn, a farmhand by day and a President Jefferson impersonator by night, and the creation of Margaret Prickett, a single mother and cheese maker trying to save her century-old family farm. Sheri Holman seamlessly weaves together the lives of Three Chimneys, delving into her characters’ inescapable family histories as they grapple with religion, divorce, politics, and unrequited love. The Mammoth Cheese is a triumphant exploration of the burdens and joys of rural America and the debts we owe to history, our parents, and ourselves.

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