The Everybody Reads 2017 book is "Black River" by S.M. Hulse. The author visits Colfax, Tues. November 7 at noon at the Whitman County Library. Come to listen, ask questions, bring a lunch or reserve lunch for $13 by calling (509) 397-4366. Hulse will also be visiting Dahmen Barn in Uniontown on Mon. November 6 at 1 p.m.
"A tense Western and an assured debut, Black River tells the story of a man marked by a prison riot as he returns to the town, and the convict, who shaped him."
When Wes Carver returns to Black River, he carries two things in the cab of his truck: his wife’s ashes and a letter from the prison parole board. The convict who held him hostage during a riot, twenty years ago, is being considered for release.
Wes has been away from Black River ever since the riot. He grew up in this small Montana town, encircled by mountains, and, like his father before him and most of the men there, he made his living as a Corrections Officer. A talented, natural fiddler, he found solace and joy in his music. But during that riot Bobby Williams changed everything for Wes — undermining his faith and taking away his ability to play.
How can a man who once embodied evil ever come to good? How can he pay for such crimes with anything but his life? As Wes considers his own choices and grieves for all he’s lost, he must decide what he believes and whether he can let Williams walk away.
With spare prose and stunning detail, S. M. Hulse drops us deep into the heart and darkness of an American town.
Reviews "Black River is such a vivid, compelling debut novel. S. M. Hulse is an astute guide to an implacable western landscape of grief, violence and redemption." —Jess Walter, NYT bestselling author of Beautiful Ruins, The Financial Lives of the Poets, and others
"This powerful, character-driven novel of family, suffering, mistakes, forgiveness, and atonement begs you to put on a classic bluegrass album and savor the very real world that Hulse has captured on the page. This is a new Montana story, a story of the West that eschews romantic imaginings and instead lives in the grit and complexity of the modern West." —Ariana Paliobagis, Country Bookshelf (Bozeman, MT)
"A lovely austerity infuses this story of damage and redemption, and makes it glow. Hulse is a wise and compassionate writer who understands the tricky and heartbreaking borders between principle and rigidity, justice and revenge. Her debut novel is provoking and memorable." —Deirdre McNamer, author of Red Rover and My Russian
Winner of the 2015 Reading the West Book Award
An ABA 2015 Indies Introduce Title
An Amazon Best Book of the Month for January 2015
A February 2015 Indie Next List Pick
Long-listed for the 2015 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize