Synopses & Reviews
Mark Spragg's fiction debut is the story of the lifelong friendship between two men and their love for the woman who eludes them. Though Gretchen is married to his best friend, McEban has been in love with her since they were children growing up on adjacent ranches in Wyoming. When she leaves her husband for a new life, the two men follow her on an odyssey across the American West that forces truths and tests the ultimate, mystical extremes of love and loyalty.
Muscular, vivid, wise, tender, funny, and true: Mark Spragg's much-anticipated first novel is entirely unforgettable.
"[A] superb first novel....[A] remarkable love story....Spragg finds poetry (and humor) in silence, revealing his characters' depth of feeling in what they don't say and how they don't say it." Bill Ott, Booklist (starred review)
"Quite powerful in a restrained kind of way. A fine beginning for a talented new hand." Kirkus Reviews
"[A] stylish western....Spragg has a nice ear for dialogue and can invest a character...with comic energy. Unfortunately...he obscures the solid virtues of his storytelling beneath the overfamiliar stoic lyricism that has become almost de rigueur in westerns in the wake of Cormac McCarthy's Border Trilogy." Publishers Weekly
"Spragg evokes these doomed characters and the land they inhabit in an achingly beautiful lyricism. Like Annie Proulx and Gretel Erhlich, he's a writer who makes Wyoming's high country so familiar it feels like the reader's own native ground." Newsday
"[T]he best part of this first novel is his reverent depiction of ranch life, told in lean, workmanlike prose. Unfortunately, Spragg is much less adept at character development. Gretchen never comes alive on the page, which makes it difficult to take seriously the men's burning desire to bring her back home." Library Journal
About the Author
Mark Spragg is the author of the memoir Where Rivers Change Direction, winner of the 2000 Mountains & Plains Booksellers Award.