Reading & Signing with authors Keith Lesmeister and Peter Geye
What: Reading & Signing with authors Keith Lesmeister and Peter Geye
When: Thursday, June 29th, 5pm
Where: Madeline Island Ferry Terminal
In his first collection of short fiction, Keith Lesmeister plows out a distinctive vision of the contemporary Midwest. A recovering addict chases down a herd of runaway cows with a girl the same age as his estranged daughter. A middle-aged couple rediscovers their love for one another through the unlikely circumstance of robbing a bank. A drunken grandmother goads her grandson into bartering his leftover booze for a kayak. The daughter of a deployed soldier wages a bloody war on the rabbits ravaging her family’s farm.
These stories peer into the lives of those at the margins–the broken, the resigned, the misunderstood. At turns hopeful and humorous, tender and tragic, We Could’ve Been Happy Here illuminates how we are shaped and buoyed by our intimate connections with others—both those close to us, and those we hardly know.
One of our best sellers in 2016 has finally arrived in paperback! Continuing the saga of the Eide family introduced in his second novel, The Lighthouse Road, Geye’s powerful third outing journeys to the frozen places in the American landscape and the human heart. One November, the elderly Harry Eide, who is suffering from dementia, vanishes into the unforgiving backcountry surrounding his home in the tiny Minnesota town of Gunflint. When his son, Gus, comes to tell Harry’s longtime love, Berit Lovig, the news, Gus also begins recounting another defining trip Harry took into the wilderness three decades earlier. In fall 1963, Harry persuaded then-18-year-old Gus to postpone college and join him on a lengthy two-man journey north into the maze of waterways at the Canadian border, where they planned to winter over like the “voyageurs of yore.” By the time the first snow fell, Gus had come to understand that the maps Harry had brought were useless and that a showdown with Charlie Aas, Gunflint’s corrupt mayor and Harry’s longtime nemesis, might be dead ahead. As Gus recalls his tale, Berit looks back to her own past, most notably with Rebekah Grimm, a Gunflint icon whose history links her to the Eides. Capturing the strength and mystery of characters who seem inextricable from the landscape, Geye’s novel is an unsentimental testament to the healing that’s possible when we confront our bleakest places.