The River Burns
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Trevor Ferguson, one of Canada’s most acclaimed writers, returns with The River Burns, his long-awaited new novel.
The River Burns tells the story of a small town in crisis, the mistakes people make, and the courage it takes to heal a community after a horrific act of destruction.
Wakefield is a small town where a unique collection of longstanding citizens has lived mostly in harmony, accepting of each other’s foibles. But underneath the picture perfect exterior a battle rages between those who wish to preserve the historic single-lane covered bridge across the river, and the loggers who want it replaced with a modern alternative. As the days pass with no change in the dispute, tensions begin to boil over, friends turn against one another, and the town seethes with potential violence.
Family man and second-generation logger Denny O’Farrell has been leading the charge to modernize the bridge. When the bureaucratic route fails to produce results, Denny and his friends need a new plan of action. But local police officer Ryan O’Farrell, Denny’s brother, is very worried about exactly how much Denny and friends are willing to risk in order to win the war. Swept up into the dispute, lawyer Raine Tara-Anne Cogshill, a newcomer hiding from her big-city past, hasn’t bargained on getting caught up in a summer of violence.
there. Ryan could see where, over time, he might get to enjoy this guy, too. For an old cop he seemed okay, and really only looked a trifle worn. His curmudgeonly disposition, while prevalent, seemed theatrical and not genuinely derisive. In two cars, the three of them drove down to inspect the area where the bridge once stood and stared out across that vacant gulf. Nothing pertinent remained to be examined, but the newcomers grasped the dimensions of the space. By looking over Mrs. McCracken’s
Always, they had better things to do. And yet, I’m a lawyer and although others might vehemently disagree that she had nothing better to do she’d decided that her best option in life was to Scram. Beat it. Run. So I’m running away. Vamoosing, she called it. Perhaps this is what lawyers did. They vamoosed. In style. I’m a storm now. The wind. That’s the thing. I can’t argue career choices when all I am now is a whole gale in the dark of night. Even when it’s noon. The sedate comfortable
day. Skootch nodded, and remained bent on one knee. He placed a sweaty hand on Jake’s slickened shoulder. “I can’t let you make that much money, Jake. Once in a while, maybe. Not every day, day in, day out. If you made that much money you’d buy foreign cars and who knows what kind of woman you’d want to bring home or what kind of trouble you’d let rain down upon us. So no. You won’t make that much. I won’t allow it. But you will make enough, Jake, and women in our camp will surprise you, if only
Skootch was storming out or just doing a pantomime of storming out, but momentarily he heard him opening the fridge door and shaking cereal into a bowl, so he couldn’t be in any genuine bad mood. He dressed quickly and Belinda was awake now, not the least concerned about her nudity as she stretched her arms and yawned, then grinned. “Kiss me,” she said. Then she picked grit from an eyelid. He kissed her anyway. “Mmm,” she said. He didn’t know if she was referring to their time through the
speculated. “Though it’s been a while.” The raft, about fifteen feet square, supported three levels of shambles stacked one on top of the other. A banged-up kitchen stove and a ceramic toilet with its lid a-kilter stood out in plain view. The deck was littered with baseball bats and ropes and children’s toys and a set of aged downhill skies without the bindings and what appeared to be a small car’s axle. The edges of the planked deck were rimmed with slices of frayed truck tires retrieved from