Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Matt Pavelich, author of 'The Other Shoe'

Henry Brusett is the only one who can explain the mysterious death of Calvin Teague. He’s the only one who truly knows how the young man came to be bloodied and lifeless on his land in Montana’s vast backcountry. But Henry won’t say anything. His silence and its ripple across his small community form the heart of Matt Pavelich’s engrossing second novel, The Other Shoe.

Henry never wanted much more than a family and his days spent as a sawyer deep in the wilderness. But by middle-age Henry is divorced, disabled, and isolated on a remote plot of land in Montana. After years of self-imposed loneliness, Henry meets Karen, who’s half his age and knows nothing but her own willful solitude. Their union is the unlikeliest of bonds, a mix of comfort and guilt for Henry who believes he’s too old for Karen. But it’s also the spark of his undoing, a decision that leads him toward one of his greatest regrets.

As members of Henry and Karen’s small town try to both uncover and cover-up the truth surrounding Calvin Teague’s untimely death, The Other Shoe moves toward the inescapable and shines in the rarity of Pavelich’s assured and haunting style.

From Publisher's Weekly:

"Pavelich’s haunting, beautifully observed second novel opens with Calvin Teague, an Iowan drifter, at the mercy of the harsh elements of the Montana open road. Teague is discovered exhausted, dehydrated, and missing a shoe by Karen Brusett, who takes him to her remote trailer, where the two get close. But when Teague winds up bludgeoned to death, possibly with a cane belonging to Karen’s arthritic husband, it stirs up all kinds of suspicion and unrest in small-town Montana, the novel’s evocatively desolate backdrop. As Pavelich unfurls his characters’ histories, the plot oscillates between alternating perspectives in a clever crime drama."

During this week's program, Matt Pavelich talks about small-town justice and reads from The Other Shoe.

You can hear the program on the radio or online:

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