Nominated by:

Chicago Public Library, USA

Publisher of nominated edition:

Reagan Arthur Books, USA

This Bright River

Patrick Somerville      

2014 Longlist

A compelling story of young love and old secrets.
Lauren Sheehan’s career in medicine came to a halt after a chain of violent events abroad. Now she’s back in the safest place she knows – St. Helens, Wisconsin – cut off from career, friendship, and romance.
Ben Hanson’s aimless young life has bottomed out after a series of bad decisions, but a surprising offer from his father draws him home for what looks like his final second chance. In Wisconsin, he finds his family fractured, still unable to face the truth behind his troubled cousin’s death a decade earlier.
As Lauren cautiously expands her horizons and Ben wrestles with his regrets and mistakes, their paths intersect. Could each be exactly what the other needs? Or the last thing in the world either one can handle?
The weight of secrets, the price of success, and the cost of love all linger at the heart of this surprising, unsettling, deeply satisfying novel. Rich with the dark humor and piercing intelligence that made The Cradle so beloved, This Bright River confirms Somerville’s status as one of the most engaging and daring young writers at work today.

(From Publisher)

About the Author

Patrick Somerville is the author of Trouble, a book of short fiction, and The Cradle, which was a New York Times Best Book 0f 2009, and short-listed for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. He is at work on a second novel, and lives with his wife in Chicago, where he teaches creative writing at Northwestern University.

Librarian’s Comments

Midwestern author Patrick Sommerville explores the idea of returning home in this gripping story that meanders back and forth between characters’ pasts and presents, successes and mistakes, loves and losses – much like the river in the title.

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