Black River (Paperback)

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February 2015 Indie Next List

“This debut set in the American West follows Wes Carver, a former corrections officer whose passion in life was playing the fiddle until his hands were ruined during a prison riot. Years later, following the loss of his wife to cancer, Wes returns to the small prison town in Montana to scatter his wife's ashes and speak at the parole hearing of the inmate who ruined his life. He struggles to accept the possibility that the inmate has found God, especially as his own faith is hanging on by a thread. Hulse's writing is like the river at the center of her novel, a quiet surface covering raging emotions underneath, and her descriptions of music are breathtakingly beautiful. Discover a wonderful new talent!”
— Nancy Solberg, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA


An Indie Next Title - An Indies Introduce Title - Long-listed for the 2015 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize

"Impressive . . . A] tough, honest novel by a surprisingly wise young writer." -- Washington Post

"A complex and powerful story--put Black River on the must-read list." -- Seattle Times

Wes Carver returns to his hometown--Black River, Montana--with two things: his wife's ashes and a letter from the parole board. The convict who once held him hostage during a prison riot is up for release. For years, Wes earned his living as a corrections officer and found his joy playing the fiddle. But the riot shook Wes's faith and robbed him of his music; now he must decide if his attacker should walk free. With "lovely rhythms, spare language, tenderness, and flashes of rage" (Los Angeles Review of Books), S. M. Hulse shows us the heart and darkness of an American town, and one man's struggle to find forgiveness in the wake of evil.

"Artful . . . Hulse evokes the Montana landscape in lyrical, vivid prose." -- Boston Globe

"Hulse believes that grace happens in a look between two people, or a moment of holding back. A powerful elegy." -- Guardian
Product Details
ISBN: 9780544570238
ISBN-10: 0544570235
Publisher: Mariner Books
Publication Date: January 5th, 2016
Pages: 240
Language: English