The BookBrowse Review

Published June 9, 2021

ISSN: 1930-0018

printable version
This is a free issue of our membership magazine, The BookBrowse Review, which we publish twice a month.
Join | Renew | Give a Gift Membership | BookBrowse for Libraries
Back    Next


In This Edition of
The BookBrowse Review

Highlighting indicates debut books

Editor's Introduction
Hardcovers Paperbacks
First Impressions
Latest Author Interviews
Recommended for Book Clubs
Book Discussions

Discussions are open to all members to read and post. Click to view the books currently being discussed.

Publishing Soon


Historical Fiction

Short Stories/Essays




History, Science & Current Affairs

Young Adults


  • Blackout by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson , et al (rated 5/5)

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Speculative, Alt. History

Book Jacket

Site Fidelity
by Claire Boyles
15 Jun 2021
208 pages
Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company
Genre: Short Stories/Essays
mail to a friend   

Set in the western sagebrush steppe, Site Fidelity is a vivid, intimate, and deeply human exploration of life on the shifting terrain of our changing planet.

Firmly rooted in the modern American West, Site Fidelity follows women and families who feel the instinctual, inexplicable pull of a home they must work to protect from the effects of economic inequity and climate catastrophe. A seventy-four-year-old nun turns to eco-sabotage to stop a fracking project. A woman delivers her own baby in a Nevada ghost town. A young farmer hides her chicken flock from the government during a bird flu epidemic. An ornithologist returns home to care for her rancher father and gets caught up trying to protect a breeding group of endangered Gunnison sage grouse.

In lean, lyrical prose, Claire Boyles evokes the bleakness and beauty of our threatened western landscapes. Spanning the decades from the 1970s to a plausible near future, this knockout debut introduces unforgettable characters who must confront the challenges of caregiving and loss alongside the very practical impacts of fracking, water rights law, and other agricultural policies. Site Fidelity is a vivid, intimate, and deeply human exploration of life on the shifting terrain of our changing planet.

"[These] stories rise above on multiple levels: rich settings both integrated and essential, compelling characters navigating life's most formative crossroads, the tapestry effect of skillfully woven elements, and emotional intelligence in breathtaking spades...Boyles both respects the intelligence of her reader and brings heart and soul to the page." - Booklist (starred review)

"Set against a larger backdrop of energy debates, environmental disasters, and climate change, Boyles' stories are skillfully layered explorations of the politics and power plays within families, workplaces, and communities. Yet this collection's true mastery is in the rich and varied voices of the characters and in the small moments in which they reach for hope despite all that has crumbled around them. Deliberate and compelling." - Kirkus Reviews

"Boyles's debut collection bristles with intelligence and determination...At their best, the stories of women dealing with messes men left behind evoke the characters' grit and hope as well as a sense of place, colored in by their concern for the environment. Fans of Annie Proulx and John Sayles will love this." - Publishers Weekly

"[Boyles's] settings exist as characters in their own right, carefully detailed, possessed of complex backstories, and imbued with definite, sometimes dangerous, agency...Site Fidelity bursts with pleasures―not just its lush attention to place but its frequent moments of well as the delightful frissons of surprise that shiver off the pages each time we catch a reference to a previous story." - Kenyon Review

"Attuned to harsh, western beauty and full of unforgettable, resilient characters, Site Fidelity is a bold and deeply affecting debut collection. Boyles writes with grace, style, and tremendous compassion about family, activism, and the undeniable impact (for better or worse) human beings have on the planet." - Kimberly King Parsons, National Book Award–longlisted author of Black Light

"If we are to survive, even the next several decades, we need to feminize the myth of the American West…Claire Boyle's stories do just that, the tenacious, unsinkable women who inhabit them no longer content to sit back and let powerful men of industry make us all extinct. For anyone who loves and grieves the West, who isn't afraid to open their eyes and see her distress, these beautifully forged stories are as essential as water." - Pam Houston, author of Deep Creek

Claire Boyles is a writer, teacher, and former sustainable farmer. She received her MFA in creative writing from Colorado State University. Her fiction has appeared in Boulevard and the Kenyon Review. She lives in Loveland, Colorado.

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.