Small town, Vermont is the setting of Castle Freeman Jr.’s “All that I have” and it and its inhabitants become a character in this quaint little novel. “All that I have” is a story of ordinariness and everyday life, but that does not mean that “All that I have” is anything less than spectacular. Castle Freeman Jr. sees the nuances in everyday life and especially the main character, Sheriff Wing, who lives and sheriffs according a code he learned from his predecessor.
Humor is what I loved most about “All that I have”. It is dry, witty, and served without canned applause – and it left me laughing out loud. The humor counterbalances the theme of ordinariness and the reserved nature of Sheriff Wing. What is the opposite of action-packed? That’s what “All that I have” is and the feat here is how beautifully, Castle Freeman Jr. executes it.
Do not misunderstand: “All that I have” does contain action. There are silent and violent Russians, guns, a deputy who knows how to sheriff, a lawyer father-in-law, a massive fire, and a number of femme fatales who harbor criminals.
“All that I have” is about Sheriff Wing, who juggles different problems with his wife, job, past, and future – in the hotchpotch of all that he has.
“All that I have” is beautifully conceived and executed – and I highly recommend the novel to readers who like to mull over a novel – and who enjoy underplayed humor.