National Book Award finalist Patricia Henley captivates us with this engrossing novel of a woman whose long-held secret will transform her life and her marriage.
From all appearances, Ruth Anne Bond is enviably lucky. Her husband, Johnny, still treats her like a young lover. Her grown daughter is a staunch friend. Her steady work and devotion to the church have quietly made her a pillar of the community. Then one long Indiana summer brings some unexpected communiqués—including one she has both craved and feared for thirty years. As long-hidden truths threaten to emerge, for the first time in her marriage Ruth Anne is faced with memories she and Johnny never discuss: of a year spent in Saigon in 1968—and a past she has yet to acknowledge. Probing questions of family and faith, Patricia Henley offers us a tender, far-sighted novel about seeking answers and achieving grace.
About the Author
Patricia Henley’s first novel, Hummingbird House, was a finalist for the 1999 National Book Award and The New Yorker Best Fiction Book Award. Henley has also written two books of poetry, Learning to Die and Back Roads, and three story collections: Friday Night at Silver Star, which won the 1985 Montana Arts Council First Book Award; The Secret of Cartwheels; and Worship of the Common Heart: New and Selected Stories. Her stories have been published in such magazines as The Atlantic Monthly, Ploughshares, The Missouri Review, The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine, and Northwest Review, and anthologized in The Best American Short Stories and The Pushcart Prize anthology. Henley lives in West Lafayette, Indiana, where she teaches in the M.F.A. Creative Writing Program at Purdue University.
Praise for In the River Sweet…
“Emotionally rich. . . . Nuanced. . . . Voluptuous. . . . A true accomplishment in the craft of fiction.” —Chicago Tribune
“Absolutely superb. . . . With a poet’s eye for the essential and a novelists’s sweeping vision . . . Patricia Henley iluminates here the wounds and yearnings of us all.” —Andre Dubus III, author of House of Sand and Fog
“Beautifully rendered. . . . An absorbing story.” —The Boston Globe
“Sure to please readers deeply. . . . Henley conjures the bygone Vietnam era with eerie and bittersweet poignancy.” —The Dallas Morning News
“An atmospheric and involving drama of family, belief and moral quandaries.” —Seattle Post-Intelligencer