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.
Birdsong strikes up and musters in the first soft press of dawn. Starlings, sparrows, magpies, meadowlarks, blackbirds. There is the flush and shuffle of feathers. Throat tunings. The hollowing chitter of beaks. Bursts of flight. Wrens, flycatchers, cowbirds, crows. Complaint. Exultation. They work the meadow grass, the cottonwoods along the creek, the open barnloft, alive in tilting sweeps of hand-size shadows. The raptors float silently a thousand feet above, turning, spiraling atop the early-morning thermals, hunting the edge of the ebbing night.
A downdraft masses cool and heavy against the escarpment of the Front Range and totters and slides from the warming sky. It thrums against the sides of the stocktank, the outbuildings, the house; ripples the surface of the pond below the barn. It swings the pasture grasses east, lifts the boughs of a Douglas fir beside the house, scatters in bursts of cottonwood and aspen leaf. It smells of dew, juniper, sage, pine, ...
If you liked The Fruit of Stone, try these:
The first volume in the Border Trilogy - the tale of John Grady Cole, who at sixteen sets off for Mexico on a sometimes idyllic, sometimes comic journey to a place where dreams are paid for in blood.
A heartstrong story of family and romance, tribulation and tenacity, set on the High Plains east of Denver.
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