Heart Spring Mountain by Robin MacArthur
A Novel

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Much is made of family secrets that are more intriguing to Vale than to the reader. Nonetheless, the novel’s sense of place is one of its strengths; this is a love song to the natural world, and a plea for its protection.
-Star Tribune

Synopsis

In this evocative first novel, a young woman returns to her rural Vermont hometown in the wake of a devastating storm to search for her missing mother and unravel a powerful family secret

It’s August 2011, and Tropical Storm Irene has just wreaked havoc on Vermont, flooding rivers and destroying homes. One thousand miles away—while tending bar in New Orleans—Vale receives a call and is told that her mother, Bonnie, has disappeared. Despite a years-long estrangement from Bonnie, Vale drops everything and returns home to look for her.

Though the hometown Vale comes back to is not the one she left eight years earlier, she finds herself falling back into the lives of the family she thought she’d long since left behind. As Vale begins her search, the narrative opens up and pitches back and forth in time to follow three generations of women—a farming widow, a back-to-the-land dreamer, and an owl-loving hermit—as they seek love, bear children, and absorb losses. All the while, Vale’s search has her unwittingly careening toward a family origin secret more stunning than she ever imagined.

Written with a striking sense of place, Heart Spring Mountain is an arresting novel about returning home, finding hope in the dark, and of the power of the land—and the stories it harbors—to connect and to heal. It’s also an absorbing exploration of the small fractures that can make families break-and the lasting ties that bind them together.

 

About Robin MacArthur

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Robin MacArthur earned her BA from Brown University and an MFA in Fiction Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her work has appeared in Hunger Mountain, Orion Magazine, Shenandoah, Alaska Quarterly and on NPR, and she is the editor of Contemporary Vermont Fiction: An Anthology. She is also one-half of the indie-folk duo Red Heart the Ticker, which has been featured on A Prairie Home Companion and NPR’s Morning Edition. She lives in Marlboro, Vermont. Author Image 1
 
Published January 9, 2018 by Ecco. 368 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Heart Spring Mountain
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Good
on Oct 16 2017

And though the story is somber, there’s enough room in the narrative for a sliver of optimism. As Deb tells Vale, “No radical change comes during good times.” A fecund and contemplative feminist family saga.

Read Full Review of Heart Spring Mountain: A Novel | See more reviews from Kirkus

Star Tribune

Above average
Reviewed by Jackie Thomas Kennedy on Jan 12 2018

Much is made of family secrets that are more intriguing to Vale than to the reader. Nonetheless, the novel’s sense of place is one of its strengths; this is a love song to the natural world, and a plea for its protection.

Read Full Review of Heart Spring Mountain: A Novel | See more reviews from Star Tribune

Reader Rating for Heart Spring Mountain
75%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 21 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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