Summary and book reviews of The Fruit of Stone by Mark Spragg

The Fruit of Stone

by Mark Spragg

The Fruit of Stone
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  • First Published:
    Aug 2002, 304 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 2003, 336 pages

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Book Summary

Muscular, vivid, wise, tender, funny, and true: Mark Spragg's much-anticipated first novel is entirely unforgettable.

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.

Chapter One

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, ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Spragg's debut novel (after the well-received memoir, Where Rivers Change Direction) is a stylish western, set in present-day Wyoming and revolving around a longstanding romantic triangle.

Library Journal - Edward St. John

Spragg's celebration of old-time values will appeal to fans of Donald McCaig and Kent Haruf.

Kirkus Reviews

Quite powerful in a restrained kind of way. A fine beginning for a talented new hand.

Booklist - Bill Ott

Starred Review. [A] superb first novel, the story of a recalcitrant Wyoming rancher who understands the land but struggles to master the tricky terrain of the heart.... every note Spragg hits seems right.

Reader Reviews

Yvette

I've read this book twice, which with the amount of reading I do is a rarity. It's simply one of the most touching, heartfelt books I've ever read. Mark Spraggs' style of writing is similar to poetry and I've found myself re-reading sections for ...   Read More

Chuck Korus

Engaging characters and a wonderful tale of love, friendship and loyalty in the modern West.

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