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Prairie Nocturneby Ivan Doig
Synopses & Reviews
From one of the greatest novelists of the American West comes a surprising and riveting story set in Montana and New York during the Harlem Renaissance, drawing together an unlikely set of thwarted performers in one last inspired grasp at life's set of gold rings: love and renown.
Susan Duff — the bossy, indomitable schoolgirl with a silver voice from the pages of Doig's most popular work, Dancing at the Rascal Fair — has reached middle age alone, teaching voice lessons to the progeny of Helena's high society. Wesley Williamson — business scion of a cattle-empire family — has fallen from the heights of gubernatorial aspirations, forced out of a public career by political foes who uncovered his love affair with Susan. Years later, Susan is taken off guard when Wes arrives at her door with an unusual request: to train his chauffeur, Monty, in the ways of voice and performance.
Prairie Nocturne is the saga of these three people and their interlocked destinies. Monty is distantly known toSusan from their childhoods in the Two Medicine country, yet an enforced stranger because of the racial divide. When she realizes he possesses a singing voice of rare splendor, Susan joins Wes's Pygmalion-like project to launch Monty on a performing career — only to find the full force of the Ku Klux Klan in their way. As Monty and Susan overcome treacherous obstacles, Wes's mysterious motives unsettle everyone, including himself, and the trio's crossed fates form a deeply longitudinal novel that raises everlasting questions of allegiance, the grip of the past, and the costs of career and passion.
"His marvelously idiosyncratic sentences have the bite of mountain air and the springy rhythms of mountain folks' speech....Fine work from a quintessentially American writer." Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Ivan Doig never disappoints those who love good writing and Prairie Nocturne is Doig at his best." Tony Hillerman, Author of The Wailing Wind and The Sinister Pig
"Those who don't mind digressive storytelling will appreciate yet another Montana saga from one of the state's best-known chroniclers." Publishers Weekly
"Doig tightens the reins on his sometimes mannered prose and constructs a subtle, highly textured love story, nicely balancing period detail and well-modulated emotion." Booklist
About the Author
Ivan Doig grew up in a family of Montana ranch hands in the 1940s and 1950s. His books include Mountain Time, Bucking the Sun, and the highly acclaimed Montana Trilogy — English Creek, Dancing at the Rascal Fair, and Ride with Me, Mariah Montana. He lives in Seattle with his wife, Carol. For more information visit www.ivandoig.com.
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