In this fascinating book, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tracy Kidder takes us inside the everyday workings of Northampton, Massachusetts -- a place that seems to personify the typical American hometown. Kidder unveils the complex drama behind the seemingly ordinary lives of Northampton's residents. And out of these stories he creates a splendid, startling portrait of a town, in a narrative that gracefully travels among past and present, public and private, joy and sorrow. A host of real people are alive in these pages: a tycoon with a crippling ailment; a criminal whom the place has beguiled, a genial and merciful judge, a single mother struggling to start a new life at Smith College; and, at the center, a policeman who patrols the streets of his beloved hometown with a stern yet endearing brand of morality -- and who is about to discover the peril of spending a whole life in one small place. Their stories take us behind the town's facades and reveal how individuals shape the social conscience of a community. Home Town is an unflinching yet lovingly rendered account of how a traditional American town endures and evolves at the turn of the millenniums.