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Alternating between Montana in 2002, after Polly has banged her head pretty badly and a local girl has disappeared on the Yellowstone River, and the consequential 1968 of Polly’s lush, swirling childhood on Long Island, this novel shows us how the past and present intertwine and mirror each other. The stories and secrets tucked throughout generations emerge, reminding us how the loyal bonds of family are often inexpressible and revelatory.
January 2021 Indie Next List
“This is a story about family, about history, and about love. The characters are like you and me; their stories are intertwined just as ours are, with a past and a hoped-for future. Author Jamie Harrison wields a mighty pen with precision and care, peopling her book with a myriad of interesting characters living believable lives. Her narrative is insightful and moving, and she has that rare gift of making a fictional story sound like the real thing.”
— Linda Bond, Auntie's Bookstore, Spokane, WA
Set against the wild beauty of Montana as a woman attempts to heal from a devastating accident, this generational saga from the award-winning author of The Widow Nash is a heartfelt examination of how the deep bonds of family echo throughout our lives. For Polly, the small town of Livingston, Montana, is a land charmed by raw, natural beauty and a close network of family that extends back generations. But the summer of 2002 finds Polly at a crossroads: a recent head injury has scattered her perception of the present, bringing to the surface long-forgotten events. As Polly's many relatives arrive for a family reunion during the Fourth of July holiday, a beloved friend goes missing on the Yellowstone River. Search parties comb the river as carefully as Polly combs her mind, and over the course of one fateful week, Polly arrives at a deeper understanding of herself and her larger-than-life relatives. Weaving together the past and the present, from the shores of Long Island Sound to the landscape of Montana, The Center of Everything examines with profound insight the memories and touchstones that make up a life and what we must endure along the way.
About the Author
Jamie Harrison, who has lived in Montana with her family for more than thirty years, has worked as a caterer, a gardener, and an editor, and is the author of The Center of Everything, The Widow Nash, and the four Jules Clement/Blue Deer mysteries: The Edge of the Crazies, Going Local, An Unfortunate Prairie Occurrence, and Blue Deer Thaw. She was awarded the Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association Reading the West Book Award for The Widow Nash, and was a finalist for the High Plains Book Award.