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Black River

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Black River Cover

ISBN13: 9780544309876
ISBN10: 0544309871
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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 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.

Review:

"This top-of-the-line modern American Western debut explores the themes of violence, revenge, and forgiveness with a sure hand....From the bluegrass theme to the Western rural setting, Hulse handles his story like a pro." Publishers Weekly, starred and boxed review

Review:

"Heads up — Hulse is a smart writer, able to reveal her character’s gut-level emotions and trickiest self-manipulations. Comparing the author to Annie Proulx, Wallace Stegner, or Kent Haruf is no exaggeration. Her debut is bound to turn readers’ hearts inside out and leave them yearning for some sweet, mournful fiddle music." Library Journal, starred review

Review:

"Hulse debuts with a stark, tender tale about one man's quest for faith and forgiveness....By making Wes' suffering so palpable, Hulse makes it even more moving when, in the novel's final pages, he achieves something he's been seeking for a very long time: grace. Profound issues addressed with a delicate touch and folded into a strong story populated by wrenchingly human characters: impressive work from a gifted young artist." Kirkus, starred review

Review:

"Hulse clearly loves Montana, and her own fiddle playing and knowledge of horses shine through the novel. She maintains suspense and manages to avoid the clichés of redemption stories in this assured debut." Booklist, starred review

Synopsis:

A former prison guard and talented fiddler returns to his Montana hometown to bury his wife and confront the inmate who, twenty years ago, held him hostage during a prison riot.

About the Author

S. M. Hulse received her MFA from the University of Oregon and was a fiction fellow at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Her stories have appeared in Willow Springs, Witness, and Salamander. A horsewoman and fiddler, she has spent time in Washington, Montana, Idaho, and Oregon.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 5 comments:

Erin Young, March 19, 2015 (view all comments by Erin Young)
I was blown away by Black River, S.M. Hulse's debut novel. After his wife dies, Wes, a former corrections officer, heads back to the town where he used to work. He faces his stepson, who he hasn't seen after an ugly confrontation nearly 20 years ago, and a parole date for an inmate who tortured him during a riot. What else is on his plate? Coping with his wife's death, finding a resting place for her ashes, mountains of bills, and a sullen teenage boy whose father is an inmate at the prison. Tough to be that kid when all the other kids' dads are COs. A thread woven among these battles is Wes's search for God, his need to get some proof of the faith he's spent his life practicing.

The language, writing, pacing, and plotting are flawless. Hulse knows that less is more and has exactly the right touch in unfolding this story, moving from present to psst, from Wesley to Claire. I stayed up too late to finish it, and already, I can't wait to read it again.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Erin Young, March 19, 2015 (view all comments by Erin Young)
I was blown away by Black River, S.M. Hulse's debut novel. After his wife dies, Wes, a former corrections officer, heads back to the town where he used to work. He faces his stepson, who he hasn't seen after an ugly confrontation nearly 20 years ago, and a parole date for an inmate who tortured him during a riot. What else is on his plate? Coping with his wife's death, finding a resting place for her ashes, mountains of bills, and a sullen teenage boy whose father is an inmate at the prison. Tough to be that kid when all the other kids' dads are COs. A thread woven among these battles is Wes's search for God, his need to get some proof of the faith he's spent his life practicing.

The language, writing, pacing, and plotting are flawless. Hulse knows that less is more and has exactly the right touch in unfolding this story, moving from present to psst, from Wesley to Claire. I stayed up too late to finish it, and already, I can't wait to read it again.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Zondie Zinke, March 9, 2015 (view all comments by Zondie Zinke)
I am stunned by the writing and vision of Hulse's book. Black River will be a touchstone in my life.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
View all 5 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780544309876
Author:
Hulse, S. M.
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Historical
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20141231
Binding:
Paperback
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » New Arrivals

Black River New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$24.00 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Houghton Mifflin - English 9780544309876 Reviews:
"Review" by , "This top-of-the-line modern American Western debut explores the themes of violence, revenge, and forgiveness with a sure hand....From the bluegrass theme to the Western rural setting, Hulse handles his story like a pro."
"Review" by , "Heads up — Hulse is a smart writer, able to reveal her character’s gut-level emotions and trickiest self-manipulations. Comparing the author to Annie Proulx, Wallace Stegner, or Kent Haruf is no exaggeration. Her debut is bound to turn readers’ hearts inside out and leave them yearning for some sweet, mournful fiddle music."
"Review" by , "Hulse debuts with a stark, tender tale about one man's quest for faith and forgiveness....By making Wes' suffering so palpable, Hulse makes it even more moving when, in the novel's final pages, he achieves something he's been seeking for a very long time: grace. Profound issues addressed with a delicate touch and folded into a strong story populated by wrenchingly human characters: impressive work from a gifted young artist."
"Review" by , "Hulse clearly loves Montana, and her own fiddle playing and knowledge of horses shine through the novel. She maintains suspense and manages to avoid the clichés of redemption stories in this assured debut."
"Synopsis" by , A former prison guard and talented fiddler returns to his Montana hometown to bury his wife and confront the inmate who, twenty years ago, held him hostage during a prison riot.
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