cover image The Farmer's Daughter: Novellas

The Farmer's Daughter: Novellas

Jim Harrison, Author . Grove $24 (308p) ISBN 978-0-8021-1934-6

In three novellas as dark as they are exuberant, Harrison delivers protagonists who are smart, lusty in that classic Harrison fashion and linked by “The Last Word in Lonesome Is Me,” a Patsy Cline song that appears throughout and could easily serve as the characters' theme song. The first novella recounts the story of Sarah, who is dragged to rural Montana by her neglectful parents and, at age 15, is the victim of a sexual assault that provides her with an undying thirst for revenge. The collection's second and strongest novella features a recurring Harrison character, Brown Dog, a half-Indian free spirit who cares for his ailing stepdaughter who is afflicted with fetal alcohol syndrome. (He also has sex a lot.) The final piece presents Samuel, who as a child traveling in Mexico contracted viruses that now cause werewolflike spells that render him a “permanent stranger.” Harrison (Legends of the Fall ) shows he is still at the top of his game with these compressed gems. Taken together, they present another fine accomplishment in a storied career. (Jan.)