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Rondi Springer
Vignettes from the Landed Gentry - Outlandish Tales from the Trailer Park
Enjoy outlandish tales from the trailer park, brought to you in part by Covid-19 and people's growing sense of utter entitlement. We all know the world has changed. Behavior considered by polite society simply unacceptable a few years ago has now become the norm. As a woman running a trailer park during the Pandemic, lessons learned include how certain men absolutely loathe a woman in a position of power (you're not the boss of me), that no one understands the word "no" (why not?) and that people truly believe they are the center of the universe. All of the adults have disappeared. Readers are introduced to an absurd world that surprises, entertains, horrifies, alarms and enlightens. Buckle up.
Springer debuts with a dark collection of stories detailing her time as an RV park owner during the COVID-19 pandemic, delving into the policy changes, such as a state-wide eviction moratorium, that changed her role—“I now am a landlord, rather than a transient park host”—and sharing her insights into the “fears [that] have altered the landscape” of humanity post-pandemic. With tongue-in-cheek writing, she admits to cynicism about the position she found herself in, but also shares some glimmering moments of hope amid the disheartenment—and addresses the wider questions of how to combat the universal problems of loneliness and loss of mutual respect.

Readers looking for an uplifting account of RV park life will likely be jolted by Springer’s thinly veiled distaste for the seedy underworld to long-term RV living. In “Chelsea,” she recounts a mother of two who accidentally sets her RV on fire with the family inside while spending early morning hours using drugs in the women’s restroom, and in “You Are the Worst” readers get a taste of RV park domestic disputes: “stop fighting in a metal box, we all can hear you” Springer writes, as she compares her surroundings to a COPS show. Characterizing her business as equally dangerous and comical, Springer wastes no time in dishing about the ins and outs of managing angry, “entitled” customers, particularly the men who look down on her and disregard her problem solving simply because she’s a woman.

Despite a few laughs—Springer describes how a 300 square foot RV combined with conflict and alcohol is a recipe for disaster and shares her rules for a calm environment, such as “Don’t take a swing at me when I tell you staying here is not a good fit”—this is not a feel-good selection. Readers should come prepared to glimpse the tragic and heart wrenching side of addiction, trauma, and life in general.

Takeaway: An unstinting and sometimes comic look at the ugly side to RV park living.

Great for fans of: Larry MacDonald’s RV Oopsies, Michael Hankins’s Ordinary Average Guy.

Production grades
Cover: B
Design and typography: A-
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: B
Marketing copy: B