The inhabitants of Baxter, Maine, are going nowhere fast but not for lack of trying. In this deftly written jewel of a novel, veteran author Jim Nichols strings together the bittersweet stories of several different characters bound together by shared geography and the insular nature of small-town life. There's Johnny Lunden, a well-meaning war veteran with a penchant for the local bar and a deep but doomed love for his family. There's eight-year-old Ted Soule, who shares a first kiss with the Ophelia-like Nadia, the daughter of his Russian neighbors, and Tomi Lambert who observes the confusion of the adults around her as they struggle with accepting their fates. With the coastal waters of Maine as a backdrop, Nichols artfully explores the nature of connection hoped for, missed, lost, and found in Closer All the Time, that very special novel that delivers quick-moving, compelling storytelling with a lasting emotional wallop. You'll devour it in one sitting, but its characters will linger at the edges of your day like memories of old friends and lovers. Author Monica Wood has given it advance praise, saying: "His men and boys become so real, I feel as if I know what it might have been like to grow up surrounded by brothers. Nichols is one of my favorite writers."