From Library Journal
Claire Carver’s dying wish is that her husband play a song on his fiddle that she loves, one he wrote that evokes the mountainous surroundings of their Montana hometown. But Wes Carver has not been able to play the fiddle for 20 years. His hands are crippled, one of many cruel reminders of a prolonged episode of hideous torture at the hands of a convict during a prison riot. Wes, like many men in Black River, worked as a guard. After the riot, he and Claire left Black River. When Wes next returns there years later, numb, laconic, and angry, it is with his wife’s ashes in tow. Can he mend the broken relationship with his stepson? Can he withstand the parole hearing for the man who maimed him for life? Will he rekindle his lost Christian faith and find any kind of hope for a good life without his beloved Claire? VERDICT Heads up–Hulse is a smart writer, able to reveal her character’s gut-level emotions and trickiest self manipulations. Comparing the author to Annie Proulx, Wallace Stegner, or Kent Haruf is no exaggeration. Her debut is bound to turn readers’ hearts inside out and leave them yearning for some sweet, mournful fiddle music.
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