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The Immigrant is set in the fictional town of Ontario Falls in the Great Lakes region of Upstate New York. The following excerpt, taken from Chapter 3, describes the primary setting of the novel.

LP was struck by the lushness of the scene and the bright, contrasting colors: blue lake and sky, green trees and onion shoots, white buildings, black rows of peat humus. It looked almost like a painting.

“I wanna stop for a minute,” he said, pulling off the road. The gravel popped under the tires. Something inside said, Go slowly. Ease yourself into the life you once knew.

He cut the engine and sat for a long moment, letting his ears fill with the humming sound of cicadas. Maria lit a cigarette. Perhaps it was the perspective he now had—seeing it all before him with one sweeping glance—that made him think of this as God’s creation. State Road 104, a faded black dividing line, lay down the middle. To his left going east: an untended apple orchard, an open field with a small pond, Uncle Paolo’s onion storage, and the farmhouse. The hills beyond rolled gently to the shores of Lake Ontario.

LP got out of the car and turned his attention to the other side of the road, the side of his childhood home, at least technically speaking. The layout mirrored Uncle Paolo’s except the structures were much larger in size. An open uncultivated field filled the space between the house and where he now stood. Near the middle the silver water tower leaned precariously, reminding him of the leaning tower in Pisa. The painted red S had faded, and black slash marks covered the surface, as if an angry giant had given it a good whipping. Brown grass and old tires filled the hollow beneath the tower.

Click here to see a sketch of the setting by artist John Franks.

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