A modern novel of heartbreak and wilderness
Luminous, offbeat, and moving, First, You Swallow the Moon is a vibrant novel about love, loss and the sometimes manically impaired road to redemption. This is a novel about the counterpart to attachment - the sometimes impossible act of letting go.
Plan A: Survive heartbreak
Plan B: Turn self into bear
At twenty-four years old, all Jack Hesley knows with certainty is he's head over heels in love. But his life (and love) veers from center when his brother's car careens across an icy Wisconsin interstate and into a stand of pine. Stunned by loss, Jack retreats into isolation - a depression so stubborn the only living thing forceful enough to cross its threshold arrives in the shape of wild bears. He dreams them. He becomes obsessed by them. And he alters his forward path, risking limb and love, to follow real bears, grizzlies, into the thick woods of western Montana to untangle their impossible message - to become one of them.
A love story about love unraveled, First, You Swallow the Moon takes us from the edge of a frozen Minnesota lake into the forested river basins of Montana. But its geography has more to do with the wilderness within - the heart's centrifugal gravity of attachment. It follows one man's attempt to survive loss and transform the chambers of the human heart.