“Manages to be both warm-hearted and violent at once—a complex, deeply imagined family tale which finds unexpected gifts at its conclusion.” —Kent Haruf, author of Plainsong
Hardscrabble ranchers Renny and Ben Cross are estranged, elderly spouses living on opposite ends of their sprawling ranch, faced with the decline of a fading farm and Ben’s struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. He is just on the cusp of dementia, able to recognize he is sick but unable to do anything about it —the notes he leaves in his pockets and around the house to remind him of himself, his family, and his responsibilities are no longer as helpful as they used to be. Watching his estranged wife forced into caretaking and brought to her breaking point, Ben decides to leave his life with whatever dignity and grace remains.
As Ben makes his decision, a new horrible truth comes to light: Ray, the abusive husband of their late daughter, is being released from prison early. This opens old wounds in Ben, his wife, his surviving daughter, and four grandchildren. With a need for justice, Ben must act before his mind leaves him, and sets off during a brutal snowstorm to confront the man who murdered his daughter. Renny, realizing he is missing, sets off after him—either to stop or to witness her husband’s act of vengeance.
“A brilliant novel, filled with heartache and humor, that will strike a chord with many readers. A heart-wrenching exploration of a family in crisis.” —Library Journal (starred review)
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