Book review: ‘Heart Spring Mountain’ by Robin MacArthuer

When Tropical Storm Irene unexpectedly ravaged Vermont, a woman — a mother, a daughter — rendered powerless and irrational by drugs, is lost, seemingly, possibly swept away by the raging river.
It’s 2011 and Bonnie’s daughter lives and works in New Orleans now, detached from the family she left behind, but when she sees news coverage of her mother’s disappearance, she returns to the small town she grew up in to search for answers, to search for Bonnie. Vale comes from, on her mother Bonnie’s side, a long lineage of women who inhabit Heart Spring Mountain, some by birth, some by happenstance. Spanning centuries and regions of this country and eras of history, Vermont author Robin MacArthur’s stirring new novel tells a story of loss and love, tragedies and secrets.
Her writing is evocative, shards of light illuminate personalities, desires, disappointments and discoveries, and the descriptions of the mountain itself, and the seasonal changes that come over the river, woods and fields, evoke a sense of place, a sense of Vermont, as immediate and present as the characters that roam through them.
— Reviewed by Jenny Lyons of The Vermont Book Shop in Middlebury.

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