A debut novella in the tradition of Staggerford and Winesburg Ohio that interweaves themes of belief, doubt, and revelation in traditional and unconventional ways.
A young farmer separates from his family. His lover, pregnant with their child, seeks to comfort a bitter family member. The owners of Muller’s Tavern and Grocery Store face life without each other as an insidious invader shatters their world. The parish priest and his housekeeper are challenged by their need for affection and commitment. The police chief and town drunk face down wartime traumas, and a gentle, simple man dies suspiciously.
We are bound to each other in whole and wounded ways, surrounded by community. We all play a part.
I was impressed with Woman River! I thought the writing and dialogue and plotting and characters were extremely well done. Your book is just….damn solid. Better than many I have read from big publishing houses. Small town people should like this….I have to say that the first version of the “collecting money” scene by Jethro in the bar drew an emotional response from me….and that’s a very good sign. Bottom line, excellent job.
Wonderful. You gave your characters a chance to speak and you did it well. Some excellent construction/descriptions. You also infused in your narrative of each character’s introduction or story some pith, for lack of a better word. Each has a conversation within themselves to reveal what you, the writer, has to say about the “state of the union,” so to speak. To uncloak the inner truths is the trick and I believe as the magician of the day you have succeeded.
I enjoyed your book very much. The tragic horror of PTSD in your characters reminded me of all that my father and uncles never told of but likely suffered from after their service WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. Were those remembrances purely fictional? The unbelievable pain… Great character insight and depth…leaves one thirsting for more information…how long do we have to wait to learn more??? The scent of lilac… Indeed!
I especially enjoyed how [Woman River] weaved the perspectives of different characters into the same event. To discover how Louie, Skinny, Liz, Jethro, and Anna each experienced and remembered the events at Muller’s Bar was intriguing, entertaining, and colorful. Death is a terrifying proposition for many; and the perspective your characters offered was “very Minnesotan” – “play the hand you’re dealt.” I look forward to reading more!
Doug is currently work on a novel that follows the life of a psychologist in northern Minnesota. He is a man who, like all of us, has issues. He works with young children who have been physically and sexually abused. The book will give a pretty clear picture of the day-to-day grind of clinical work, its rewards and challenges, and the importance of relationships between human service providers, law enforcement and the courts. These are the people who make it possible for the rest of a community to go about their business, with safety and the chance to make a good life.
Doug is also putting some final touches on a collection of short stories that he has written over the last fifteen years. They will illustrate many of the ideas of psychologist, Erik Erikson who speaks to crises in our development that seek a resolution. This theory dovetails very well with the challenges presented in many works of fiction.
In the near future Doug will be starting a Podcast on a Serial story entitled “Willie,” an unsatisfied man living a dissatisfied life who hits the road with a young woman he saves from drowning and starts a journey to the Maritimes.