THE BOOK: A Bloom of Bones
PUBLISHED IN: 2016
THE AUTHOR: Allen Morris Jones
THE EDITOR: Robert Lasner
THE PUBLISHER: Ig Publishing
SUMMARY: Eli Singer, a rancher and poet in remote Eastern Montana, sees his life upended when a long-buried corpse—which turns out to be a murder victim from Eli’s childhood—erodes out of a hillside on his property. This discovery forces Eli to turn inward to revisit the tragic events in his past that led to a life-changing moment of violence, while at the same time he must reach outside himself toward Chloe, a literary agent from New York whom he is falling in love with. In the tradition of such classic western writers as Thomas McGuane, James Lee Burke, Ivan Doig and Jim Harrison, A Bloom of Bones is a poignant and moving exploration of family, community, and the echoing ramifications of violence across generations, as well as a genre-subverting literary mystery.
THE BACK STORY: First chapter was written more than 12 years ago. First draft came in at over 100,000 words. Over the course of the intervening years, I rewrote, condensed, polished. The published version, at 55,000 words, is what happens when you cut away everything that isn’t essential to the story.
WHY THIS TITLE: A thirty-year-old corpse erodes out of a hillside, triggering the narrative.
WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO READ IT: I’ve always maintained that at least one measure of the success of a novel should be in how compelling it is to read. It’s not something you often see mentioned in critical reviews, but it should be. The art lies in capturing (and holding) the reader’s attention. This novel uses the armature of genre—in this case, mystery—to move the reader forward, while in the meantime expanding on the characters and exploring themes of guilt / retribution.
With broad strokes painting an eastern Montana landscape and flashes of insight about the people who cling to its land, Jones rides past the softer romances of Nicholas Sparks into the hard country populated by the best of Western writers….Jones (Last Year’s River, 2001, etc.) has written a most American of novels, bristling with hard truths.–Kirkus Reviews
“Allen Jones’s A Bloom of Bones is simply riveting. Always lyrical, often wise, filled with vitality, and the promise that love and loyalty can surmount the darkness in our lives. I couldn’t put it down.”—Mark Spragg, author, Where Rivers Change Direction and An Unfinished Life
“What a terrific novel Allen Jones has given us! Two attractive but emotionally isolated people, a rancher on the starved-to-death plains north of Jordan Montana who has written his way into nationally interested poetry, and a young woman who represents his New York publisher. A progressing love story and an unsolved murder on his ranch—A Bloom of Bones is articulate, occasionally heartbreaking, and all the way fascinating.”—William Kittredge, A author, Hole in the Sky and The Willow Field
AUTHOR PROFILE: Author of an acclaimed novel, Last Year’s River (Houghton Mifflin), a highly influential consideration of the ethics of hunting, A Quiet Place of Violence, and co-editor, with William Kittredge, of The Best of Montana’s Short Fiction, Allen Morris Jones (1970 – ) is also the author of more than one hundred published short stories, articles, essays, and poems. He began his twenty-year career in publishing as Editor of the magazine Big Sky Journal before going on to work as an acquisitions editor for the Lyons Press and as publisher of his own small book house, Bangtail Press. He has appeared on Jim Lehrer’s “PBS NewsHour” as a guest essayist, lectured to the Outdoor Writer’s Association of America, and seen rave reviews of his work appear on the “Today” show and in the LA Times, People magazine, Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, and many others. He lives in Montana with his wife and young son, and has recently returned to work as editor of Big Sky Journal. His most recent novel, A Bloom of Bones, has received glowing notices from Kirkus Reviews (“Jones rides … into the hard country populated by the best of Western writers,”) Library Journal, (“Jones’s novel seems to have emerged from an older, more elemental world, a mythic, almost biblical place where it’s taken for granted that the sins of the fathers will be visited on the sons,”) and Foreword Magazine (“this is an exquisitely crafted book, and one to be savored,”) among many others.
SAMPLE CHAPTER: http://lithub.com/a-bloom-of-bones/
LOCAL OUTLETS: Country Bookshelf, Bozeman Montana
WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: amazon, etc.
CONTACT THE AUTHOR: www.allenmorrisjones.com