The Center of Everything (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Polly is slipping. Between the past and the present, action and inaction, truth and fiction. An unfortunate bike accident left Polly’s brain worse for wear but life marches on, traumatic brain injury or not. Now the convergence of a family gathering, and the suspicious disappearance of a dear friend threatens to undo her tenuous hold on the present as she struggles with memories of disturbing events from her past. In this moving family saga, Jaime Harrison shows us the vast expanse of Montana, the tangled paths inside a fragmented mind, and the secrets that help families endure.

— From Elaine & Luisa's Picks: Winter 2021

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.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781640092341
ISBN-10: 164009234X
Publisher: Counterpoint LLC
Publication Date: January 12th, 2021
Pages: 304
Language: English