Anne Marie Wirth Cauchon
Epic wildfires are snaking through the Sapphires and the Bitterroots, closing in on the valley. The entire west is seemingly ablaze when James hitchhikes to Missoula, in search of clues to his father’s mysterious death two decades earlier.
Ruth traded a dead-end life in Minneapolis for a dead-end life in Missoula. But in Missoula, she’s got Bridget. "[Bridget] was gorgeous... but that wasn’t it, that didn’t quite explain it. What explained it was the curse. The curse of the unreasonably pretty, the curse of cult leaders and dictators. It sucked everyone to her, it consumed her, made her untouchable."
After a local girl dies at a party, signaling the end of fun for the twentysomethings of Missoula, James and Ruth become involved. But jealousy over Bridget quickly complicates things.
Nothing announces an assertive new voice, while also capturing the angst and foreboding that could mark it as an even grander generational statement.