Annie Bloom's welcomes Portland writer Ellen Notbohm, who will read from her debut novel, The River by Starlight, a sweeping century-old tale of passionate love, unimaginable loss, resilience, and redemption embodied in one woman’s tenacious quest for self-determination in the face of devastating misfortune and social injustice.
Set in the waning years of Montana’s homestead period, Annie and Adam Fielding’s dreams of prosperity and family shatter in the face of an unfathomable illness of mind and body that plagues Annie’s pregnancies and exacts a terrible price. In the face of societal stigma, ignorance, and their own grief, their happiness and way of life begins to unravel, and the only path ahead leads to an unthinkable turn of events.
Based on true events revealed through more than a decade of research, The River by Starlight explores a history rarely seen in fiction. Its themes of women’s mental health, gender inequity, climate disaster and economic boom-and-bust remain powerfully and painfully relevant today.