Last Year's River by Allen Morris Jones

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The Barnes & Noble Review from Discover Great New Writers
Some books are so strong that one almost feels that to try to describe just how good they are would take something away from the perfection of the prose itself. Allen Morris Jones's first novel, Last Year's River, is one such book.

The former editor of Big Sky Journal, Jones has staked out his territory in the land of Wyoming, and he paints a landscape that's as true as his characters. The plot of the novel is simple enough: a privileged New York debutante, suffering the ill effects of what we would now term date rape, is exiled to a ranch in Wyoming for her confinement. A World War I combat vet, weary and shell-shocked, returns to his family homestead to work for his belligerent father, and the two refugees become unlikely but somehow perfectly suited lovers.

"Don't you think it's true that most of us are drawn to what we're not? We spend our lives trying to fill absences. Why, after all, would anyone desire what is already possessed?...What we love most are those things without which we are incomplete."

Jones's prose brings to mind the best passages in Nicholas Evans's debut, The Horse Whisperer. Jones knows his animals and their habitats, and his descriptions are so vivid, they're almost filmic. But the quiet space in which his characters Virginia and Henry reside is what carves out a niche for this book that has formerly been occupied only by true literary greats. (Fall 2001 Selection)


About Allen Morris Jones

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He has lived & worked in Montana most of his life. At age twenty-five, he became the editor of one of the West's most highly regarded periodicals, Big Sky Journal. Jones is an avid fisher & hunter & frequently returns to his family ranch in the Missouri Breaks. He lives in Livingston, Montana.
Published January 1, 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. 256 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, History. Fiction

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In contrast to chubby, wimpy, yet vicious Charlie, Henry is ruggedly sensitive, a man who “loves hunting but could do without the killing.” The attraction between Virginia and Henry is (surprise) immediate.

| Read Full Review of Last Year's River


Debutante Virginia Price, a headstrong rich girl in New York City in the 1920s, becomes pregnant after she is raped on a date with Charlie, a slick society boy.

Nov 12 2001 | Read Full Review of Last Year's River

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