Lyric River

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3.00 · 1 ratings · Published: Feb 1st, 2012 {{ book.ratingTitle }}
Ben Wallace moves to a small Colorado mountain town with Sarah, his young daughter. Ben is a skeptic, but he doesn’t mind renting his attic room to someone claiming to be God, especially since this God is troubled by his own grave doubts. Ben does not even mind that God mooches beer and is indifferent about paying the rent. Ben is less concerned with God’s aggravating ways than he is with figuring out how it might be okay to leave one woman he loves for another woman he loves. Ben’s marriage to Karen, volatile, ambitious child of the city, is fraying, and the unraveling quickens when he meets Megan, serene child of the mountains, child of a crazy, murdered father. Ben navigates the turbulent end of his relationship with Karen, falling in love with Megan, and rearing Sarah. Megan’s brother violently opposes the relationship between Ben and Megan, for reasons buried in their childhood. Ben and Megan are forced to journey into the abandoned mine that contains these childhood secrets, igniting a dangerous confrontation.

“Lyric River is a novel with heart, real heart, and it may break yours. But it will also make you laugh and smile and fall in love with the characters and feel what it means to be alive and human and to live for a while in a real world. Lyric River is full of witty dialogue, touching love stories, and quirky twists like the odd attic boarder who thinks he's God. Lyric River is about things that count—family, friends, the search for love, for joy, and the river, always the river. The writing is finely crafted, drop dead gorgeous throughout. It’s a sweet book set against a dark menace, in which life isn’t always sweet or fair. But love, good cheer, friends, loyalty and the natural world help compensate for what humans do to one another. Lyric River is subtle, funny, sad, tender, loving, rich in thought and feeling—an altogether wonderful novel that deserves a wide readership.”

—Paulette Alden, author of Feeding the Eagles and The Answer to Your Question

Typical small-town characters include George, contrarian newspaper editor, who spends his evenings in the Moose Jaw, drinking beer and arguing, if necessary, against his own editorials. Billy, the largest man in the county, dropped out of high school to drive a snowplow, and wanders the mountains, looking for the footprints of Thoreau and the secrets of Megan’s childhood. Iris, Ben’s rich, imperious neighbor, descendent of ranchers, loves Ben and Sarah and Megan; Iris also loves to hit anyone who vexes her over the head with a beer bottle; Iris is sorely vexed by Megan’s brother, Tyler, who follows dangerously in their father’s religiously demented footsteps.

“I have spent my entire career reading and writing about the Mountain West, and few have been the times I have so thoroughly enjoyed a book about my home turf. Mac Griffith manages to capture the culture, the lifestyle, the vernacular, the various sometimes frantic and disjointed modi operandi of life at altitude in a way that is simultaneously enlightening, edifying and, most importantly, entertaining. His grasp of the eccentric characters that call the Rocky Mountains home is spot on. Lyric River is perceptive, incisive and flat-out a hoot.”

—M. John Fayhee, editor of the Mountain Gazette and author of Up At Altitude: A Celebration of Life in the High County, A Colorado Winter and A Colorado Mountain Companion.

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