Social media’s wilting civility spills dangerously into local bars.
As temperatures rise during an unusually hot summer in the town of Mancheville, Pennsylvania, debates become heated and citizens find themselves more divided than ever. When social media arguments enter real life and are fueled by alcohol in Mancheville’s three drinking establishments, circumstances become even more strained.
George—a bar regular—often finds himself the confidante and counselor of the others due to his sensible demeanor. He’s dealing with personal issues of being a widower and feeling like age is catching up with him quickly. Uncharacteristically, he becomes involved with the social media discord. He finds himself in a potentially life-threatening situation when the bitterness comes to a bizarre climax at Hank’s—Mancheville’s favorite tavern.
Several Mancheville residents are forced to confront how they’ve created personas and self-images shaped by manipulative social media and shallow societal expectations. They start to see how it’s negatively affecting their relationships and contributing to a declining sense of rationality in the community.
Wilting at Gin Mills takes a sobering look at the increasingly negative online realm where people are still forming ideas of what normal is, developing codes of conduct, and discovering just how poisonous some of our behaviors have become.
Page Count: 177
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Publish Date: May 4, 2021
Imprint: Milford House
Genre: social media, literary fiction, family life, culture, politics
"Leach’s characters capture the essence of what is around us today. What he calls “An odd blend of simmering sensitivity and sectarian aggression” that has enveloped us all in “opinions…so strong and emotions so intense.” This odd blend leads to millions of words presented on social media sites but never actually discussed with people we know or even people we don’t. He captures the bane of our social and political existence: We announce to the world who we are...Leach’s book couldn’t be timelier given the current state of our social media climate. Wilting at Gin Mills is a realistic look at what is acceptable online, how our online identities and pronouncements resemble or hide our true selves, and how we may be redefining normal in ways we eventually regret." -- Frank Pizzoli, Independent Book Review