Richard Lechthaler moved to Vermont in 1968 after a career in Manhattan. Over the years, he enjoyed hearing Vermont stories, embraced the idea of citizen government, and took part in whatever seasonal and community events he could. One story stuck with him, that of Vermont farmer Romaine Tenney, who refused to leave his land when it was confiscated for the building of I-91. In Just Compensation, Lechthaler has created a fictional character, Rayland Jensen, and the town of Towsley, to address the broader questions at the heart of Tenney's refusal - can a government ever truly compensate someone for the loss of his property, his livelihood, his place in the world. Simultaneously, the novel explores the question of progress - Is it inherently a good thing? Who gets to decide? In so doing, Lechthaler also reconstructs the stories of a vanished Vermont, one in which it was not unusual for hill farmers to milk by hand, for rural homes to not have electricity, and for communities to be more like families, facing change and difficulty, both close to home and far away, together. This novel will make you ache for that quieter time while realizing that it, too, could not have lasted forever as the planet and Vermont itself became more populated and more complex. For such is life ... but the life and lives of this fictional community remain something worth remembering and honoring.