cover image ON BEAR MOUNTAIN


Deborah Smith, ON BEAR MOUNTAINDeborah Smith. , $24.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-58788-143-5

Little did Brooklyn sculptor Richard Ricconi know when he created a strange and abstract bear out of scrap iron for the town of Tiberville, Ga., that his work would be so controversial or so important to others after he was gone. Destined to be torn down decades later, the iron bear is saved by Tommy Powell, who moves it to his backyard on Bear Mountain. After Tommy dies, his only daughter, Ursula, is visited by Quentin Ricconi, Richard's son. His father, who had committed suicide many years before, is now a very collectible artist, and the Iron Bear, which the art world believed to be destroyed, is now worth millions. Quentin comes to buy the work from Ursula, but instead he finds himself smitten with this strong country woman and intrigued by her semi-retarded adult brother, who sees the Iron Bear as the center of his universe. Tension, romance and ethical struggles ensue as Quentin and Ursula discover each other. Hill and Breck expertly and sensitively breathe life into this fine and gentle tale. In particular, listeners will be drawn to their deft handling of the emotionally crippled characters. Simultaneous release with the Little, Brown hardcover (Forecasts, Nov. 27, 2000). (Feb.)