The Corner of Rife and Pacific

Thomas Savage, Author William Morrow & Company $16.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-688-07092-2
In a just literary world, Savage's name would be recognized instantly by discerning readers for his dozen outstanding novels (I Heard My Sister Speak My Name, For Mary, with Love). This moving story illustrating the power of luck, character and fate to shape lives is written in compressed prose capable of quiet irony as well as occasional passages of lyricism. Set in Montana from 1890 to 1920, it tells of the family of John Metlen, who, along with Martin Connard, is one of the founding fathers of the small town of Grayling. Metlen establishes a hotel and a ranch on 20,000 acres; Connard, more canny and ruthless, runs a bank and has the power to affect lives. Impulsive, somewhat improvident John is married to Lizzie, a woman of principle and compassion; when their son Zack is born, it seems they will always be blessed by good luck. The Metlens are vastly appealing characterscourageous, kind, responsible, generous, respectful of each other and steadfastly loyal and loving. Suddenly, however, the swing of their fortunes turns; they seem cursed by fate, even as the ruthless Connards grow in power and wealth. Savage hinges the novel's resolution on a scene between Zack's stunningly beautiful wife Anne and the coldhearted Connard heir; unfortunately, it holds no surprises and seems remarkably uninspired for this talented author. The novel is eminently worth reading, however, especially for Savage's elegiac evocation of time and place, and his wry, cynical observations about American, and specifically Western, society. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1988
Release date: 07/01/1988
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-0-14-013279-3
Hardcover - 328 pages - 978-0-89621-226-8
Show other formats
Discover what to read next