Book Review Rips Norwich

Hartford resident Brianne Goodspeed reviewed Norwich: One Tiny Vermont Town’s Secret to Happiness and Excellence by Karen Crouse in the Valley News last week. 

I have not read the book but reports are that author, a veteran New York Times sportswriter, admires the Town. A book excerpt is here

In contrast, Ms Goodspeed does not think highly of Norwich because it is rich and because it does not want high-density housing with “requirements for affordable housing”. 

What wealth doesn’t buy is virtue. And it shouldn’t buy admiration either. In her exceptional verbal gymnastics to present Norwich as the kind of place where one person’s success is everyone’s success, where nobody is left out due to lack of talent or ability to pay, Crouse fails to acknowledge a darker and more complex identity to this Disney World with maple trees.

Because while Norwich has figured out some things about nurturing its own, it’s also a community that preserves its own character so carefully that it’s practically pickled. The intensely debated proposal for a zoning amendment would have created a high-density district with requirements for affordable housing, something Norwich residents have consistently and vocally rejected with a gusto that rivals its parades for Hannah Kearney. 

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