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Midnight Bowling

Quinn Dalton

Carolina Wren Press
March 1, 2016
$17.95 paperback
5.5 x 8.0
263 pages

Tess Wycheski is a standout bowler, just like her father before her. And just like him, she is haunted and driven by her father’s famous, career-ending humiliation at his first pro match. Tess must decide whether to follow her father’s legacy, bowling as a form of art, or take the hard-nosed streetwise instruction of Leo Florida, a hustler bowling coach who may have figured in her father’s youthful failure.  Now that Leo’s back in town and offering to help Tess, can she trust him? And what about her attraction to Leo’s nephew, Donny, can she trust that? As she hones her skills and her determination, will she be willing to trust herself, even if that means leaving everyone she knows and loves in order to follow her dreams? Set against the backdrop of the Galaxy Bowling Lanes in Sandusky, Ohio, in the 1970s and ’80s—a time when working-class America, and its favorite sport, was rolling into decline—Midnight Bowling is a story of guts, gutter balls, and the imperfect power of love.


"Midnight Bowling is a brimming, brilliant, deeply American novel rooted in family secrets, young love, and the dark legacy of war. Dalton unlocks long-held, closely guarded family secrets in multi-layered love stories that play out over generations while revealing the beauty of lifelong devotion set against the backdrop of small-town American life. Dalton's writing is genius, and, with this novel, she's proven to be a true literary force of nature." —Julianna Baggott
"Quinn Dalton gives us fascinating insights about bowling in this excellent novel, but she knows just as much about love’s complexities, particularly between fathers and their children. Midnight Bowling rings true as a perfect strike." —Ron Rash
"Midnight Bowling is a terrific novel, not only a page turner, but a substantial piece of love-work. The characters are persons, not characters. The place is place, not setting. The story is convincing, sometimes scary, and often heartwarming. But it is bowling that holds the narrative together. When I felt the power of the sport take hold of me, I knew the book was a solid triumph." —Fred Chappell