From the author of the acclaimed memoir In the Wilderness (finalist for the Pulitzer Prize): a luminous novel of youthful idealism, of faith and madness, of love and family.
It is 1960 when Thomas Deracotte and his pregnant wife, Helen, abandon a guaranteed future in upper-crust Connecticut and take off for a utopian adventure in the Idaho wilderness. They buy a farm sight unseen and find the buildings collapsed, the fields in ruins. But they have a tent, a river full of fish, and fields overgrown with edible berries and dandelion greens: they can survive happily until the house is rebuilt. Thomas discovers he isn’t a natural farmer, but there’s a local boy, Manny—a sweet soul of eighteen without a family of his own—who agrees to manage the fields in exchange for room and board. Their optimism and desire carry them again and again.
Until: the traumatizing circumstances surrounding the birth of their daughter, Elise, test them in ways they could never have anticipated. And soon, in the aftermath of a tragic accident to which only Manny bears witness, suspicion, anger, and regret come to haunt the already shattered family. It is a legacy that Elise will inherit, will struggle with, and, against all odds, will ultimately overcome.