American Rust is a novel that explores the decline of the American middle class and well-paying manufacturing jobs, and the general sense of economic and social malaise. The story is set in the 2000s, in the fictional town of Buell in Fayette County, Pennsylvania.
The novel follows the lives of two young men, Isaac English and Billy Poe, and the tragedies that follow after Isaac’s mother dies by suicide and his sister escapes to Yale. Left alone to care for his aging father, Isaac longs for a life beyond his hometown, a beautiful but economically devastated Pennsylvania steel town.
The book delves into the lost American dream and the desperation, as well as the acts of friendship, loyalty, and love that arise from its loss. It is a bleak and unsettling novel that portrays the struggles of the dispossessed white Americans in the Rust Belt. The novel received positive reviews, and many publications ranked it one of the best novels of the year.
What I Liked
This is one my favorite novels. The setting is beautiful, melancholic, and haunting. It’s a lovely novel about a sad topic.
What I Did Not Like
Nothing – incredible work.