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Catalog Archive / Fall 2022

The Art of the Break

“With authentic characters and vivid settings, The Art of the Break weaves the art and science of cheesemaking into a rich story of love, friendship, and starting over. It reminds us that, while past grief may follow us into the present, it doesn’t have to swallow us whole. This book sings!”
—Kim Suhr, author of Nothing to Lose

An exquisite ode to maturing and learning to let go

Charlotte “Charlie”Sobczak finds the most comfort in making cheese—a craft she learned at the side of her father, Karl Mayer. In the wake of his untimely death, she and her daughter, Lucy, return to her rural hometown of Falls River, Wisconsin. With her marriage to Rick floundering, and still grieving the childhood loss of her sister and mother to polio and depression, she decides to pour all her efforts into reopening the family’s Morgan Cheese Factory.

Hyperaware of her own childhood losses and the challenges posed by Rick’s PTSD and heavy drinking, Charlie strives to build a stable home for Lucy. Her degree in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin gives her a leg up, and the quiet joys of working at the cheese vat provide a deep, healing peace that points the way toward happiness.

But Falls River is too narrow-minded to accept a female business owner, and Charlie is ill-prepared for the pettiness and conventions of small-town life. When debts come due, including a lien against her family’s land, she must quickly figure out who is on her side—and how to keep her dreams alive.


Mary Wimmer. Mary Wimmer is a Wisconsin-based writer, school psychologist, and educator. She is the author of Reaching Shore, first-place winner of the Midwest Independent Publishers Association-Young Adult Fiction Award, as well as two nonfiction books.

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The Art of the Break is a lyrical love letter to rural Wisconsin, cheesemaking, and family. Mary Wimmer’s rich tale of a woman reimagining her life without forsaking the past is filled with a deep understanding of humanity, love, and resilience. This story will stay with you, I promise.”
—Ann Garvin, USA Today best-selling author of I Thought You Said This Would Work

“The vibrant Wisconsin backdrop incorporates Milwaukee’s urban diversity, Madison’s free-spirited social consciousness, and the natural beauty of Charlie’s hometown, Falls River, with its wildflowers, wildlife, snowy winters, and caring community of neighbors. With an evocative sense of history and place, The Art of the Break is a novel about the complex traditional and emotional legacies of family businesses.”
Foreword Reviews

“A charming, enjoyable and insightful portrait.”
Milwaukee Magazine



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October 2022
LC: 2022008288 PS
256 pp. 6 x 9

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Paper $17.95
ISBN 9780299339746
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