"Somerville has a gift for spurring dialogue, and the meandering narrative tributaries he explores stoke our curiosity and build suspense as he crosses the wilderness of madness and bloodshed, lies and loyalty, courage and love in this by turns rolling and raging river of a novel."-Booklist (Starred)
"Richly funny, engrossing, and humane...this is a literary novel for readers who want to be simultaneously caught up in a story and impressed by the author's copious craft and skill."
"A provoking book: The reader will not escape untouched."
"A remarkable achievment -- a stellar, bruising book about how place forms character and our capacity to transform ourselves."
-The Chicago Tribune
"The chapters don't roll forward so much as fit together like puzzle pieces. But Mr. Somerville--who has something of the roadside-diner raconteur about him--makes the approach work on the strength of his writing voice. It possesses a sneaky ease and charm that masks the story's building menace."
-The Wall Street Journal
PRAISE FOR THIS BRIGHT RIVER:
"Serpentine and hypnotic, This Bright River depicts two vivid characters knocked hard by life, on a perilous journey that reveals the weight and pull of family history. The result is a novel that is both intimate and mysterious, harrowing and brave."―Megan Abbott, author of The End of Everything and Dare Me
"This Bright River is a flood of virtuoso prose and characterization. Mystery, memory, pain, and a courageous strand of love are interwoven in a riveting narrative of voices, all singing, all merging into the singular vision of one of American literature's young masters."―Nic Pizzolatto, author of Galveston
"This Bright River is nothing short of extraordinary. Somerville has a gift for writing gorgeous prose, complete with sharp humor and a perfect sense of place. But that's only half the story. There's also a great romance here and a shocking set of mysteries that get untangled along the way. Addictive, amazing, unforgettable."―J. Courtney Sullivan, bestselling author of Maine
Each paragraph has at least one striking or hilarious line. Every few pages manage to bear the full weight of a short story. Dialogue snaps with a bizarre aptness reminiscent of Denis Johnson, and the novel in total presents a coiled, deeply sensitive intelligence....Go buy this book.―The Daily Beast
If there's a middle ground between the pot-boiling, page-turning mystery and the novel of Big Ideas, Patrick Somerville has found it. "This Bright River," his second novel, is a serious literary tragedy of errors that also tells a gripping story.... The extent of Somerville's control over his narrative becomes apparent when the novel's back stories and present goings-on finally converge at that cabin in the wilderness. The slow revelation of a host of family secrets is handled so deftly you won't even mind getting sand in your Kindle.―Andrew Ervin, The New York Times Book Review
About the Author
Patrick Somerville grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin, attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and later earned his MFA from Cornell University. He is the author of the story collections Trouble and The Universe in Miniature in Miniature, and the novel The Cradle. He lives with his wife and son in Chicago, where he teaches creative writing at Northwestern University.