Jim Stegner, the rugged yet highly sensitive and artistic narrator of Peter Heller's second novel, The Painter (first novel, The Dog Stars), moves to Paonia, Colorado after suffering the loss of his beloved daughter, separating from his hot-tempered lover, and divorcing out of an uninspiring marriage. He wraps himself in the beauty of the rivers and mountains, and through a combination of fishing and painting tries to defuse the rage and sadness he always carries. He explains: "This is my new home. It's kind of overwhelming how beautiful...A good place I guess to make a field of peace, to gather and breathe."
But despite his sincere intentions to lay low and regroup, Stegner can't help but cause trouble when he sees an injustice that reignites his fuse. Dellwood Siminoe, a local hunter and jerk-at-large is abusing a tiny horse, "swinging the club against ...
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