The Risk Pool, Richard Russo
As indicated in earlier reviews here and here, I'm a big fan of Russo. I read this book before I resumed my annual book list. Here's two quotes that give you the flavor.
-And so began the final stage of my boyhood in Mohawk. Adult, I would return from time to time. As a visitor, though, never again as a true resident. But then I wouldn’t be a true resident of any other place, either, joining instead the great multitude of wandering Americans, so many of whom have a Mohawk in their past, the memory of which propels us we know not precisely where, so long as it’s away. Return we do, but only to gain momentum for our next outward arc, each further than the last, until there is no elasticity left, nothing to draw us home.
-“A Midwesterner,” she said. “And a midwesterner you will be until the day you die.” Actually, F. William Peterson was from Pennsylvania, but this fact did not, to her mind, invalidate my mother’s point. He was from the western half of Pennsylvania, “practically Ohio,” and you couldn’t grow up that close to Ohio without being Ohio. Ohio was that pervasive. Next to Iowa, she couldn’t think of a worse influence.