Synopses & Reviews
Winner of the Oregon Book Awards H.L. Davis Prize for Fiction
Storm Riders examines the conflicted love of a single father struggling to raise his adopted Native American son, who was born with fetal alcohol syndrome. When a small girl mysteriously drowns near a student-housing complex, the boy is implicated and the father wrestles with his own doubt, guilt, and responsibility.
Bringing to life the austere beauty of the Tlingit Alaskan village of the boy's family, as well as the highly educated pockets of the East Coast, Lesley vividly portrays a father and a son struggling to come to terms with each other and above all, with the truth. This novel, as The Chicago Tribune noted, is "a powerful tale with a strong emotional core."
"Lesley skillfully weaves a powerful novel of a father and son in the Northwest, where the harsh reality of present day circumstances mixes with a rich tribal past." (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
is an exacting, deeply serious, and generous novel. Its great virtue is that it's wise as well as clear-sighted in its faith in human beings. As I read, I continually felt (as I rarely do) that this book could be about me."—Ricard Ford
"Without sensationalism or self-pity, unsparingly compassionate, Craig Lesley writes of the marginal, the dispossessed, the hardscrabble people of America. He writes with grace and gravity and the driest humor, the quietest passion, the rarest, unjudging justice. This is a beautiful book"—Ursula K. LeGuin
"A powerful tale with a strong emotional core."—Chicago Tribune
"Quite a book."—The Washington Post Book World
"Heartbreaking . . . poignant."—The Seattle Times
"Lesley skillfully weaves a powerful novel of a father and son in the Northwest, where the harsh reality of present day circumstances mixes with a rich tribal past."—The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)
"A wrenching and universal story of a family's heartache."—The Oregonian (Portland)
"This is an emotional look a the relationship between fathers and sons and the complexities of trying to raise a responsible child. Lesley creates chapters that often read like well-crafted short stories, complete in themselves."—Library Journal
"Prose as clear as the morning air."—The Boston Globe
"A mystically uplifting take on the eternal distances separating fathers and sons, as well as a larger metaphor for the estrangement that both isolates and protects Indian culture from mainstream America."—Kirkus Reviews
"A powerful testimony to decency and compassion, and the blindness of a good man."—The Bloomsbury Review
"[Readers will find] a form of love as profound as it is forlorn in this intense story about loyalty and letting go."—Publisher's Weekly (starred review)
Storm Riders follows the challenges and tragedies of Clark Woods, a single father who is raising a troubled adopted Native American son, Wade. From the outset it is clear that Wade, born with fetal alcohol syndrome, is not only disabled but disturbed. Despite the strain, Clark will not abandon Wade as Clark's own father had abandoned him. Yet when Wade is implicated in a small girl's drowning near a university campus, Clark wrestles with his own doubt, guilt, and responsibility.
About the Author
is a lifelong resident of the Pacific Northwest. He has twice received the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Book Award, for Winterkill
and for The Sky Fisherman.
He is also the author of River Song
. He lives in Portland, Oregon.