Book: Last Year's River

Book: Last Year's River

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Peter Ford

With the recent release of his first novel, Last Year's River, Missoula-based Allen Morris Jones emerges into the novel writing scene with absolute luminosity. His extraordinary eye for detail and intuitive sense of old-fashioned storytelling assist tremendously in telling the story of two people, from worlds apart, who are brought together in the beautifully depicted region Jones himself has called home for nearly his entire life: the West.

Virginia Price is a young New York debutante who becomes pregnant at the hands of a rapist. Unenthused at the notion of bringing her first-born into the world in the heart of fast-paced, high-tech-dependent America, she decides to move west and enjoy the laid-back society and beautiful scenery. Henry Mohr, just recently returned home from the back-breaking and emotionally straining effects of trench warfare in World War I, and haunted by his past involving an abusive father, also makes the move westward in order to seek refuge at his family's Wyoming ranch. When the two meet in their analogous place of solace, they immediately become engaged with one another, as if the other's body filled a void in their respective lives. The relationship begins as something completely physical; however, when a man arrives from New York to ask for Virginia's hand in marriage, and Henry's father threatens to begin abusing him again, the true basis of their love is placed under the microscope.

Currently residing in Missoula, Jones began his writing career when he, at the age of twenty-five, became the editor of Big Sky Journal, where he worked for five years. Jones has also written a book of nonfiction, A Quiet Place of Violence: Hunting and Ethics in the Missouri River Breaks. He was also a coeditor of Big Sky Reader: A Treasury of the Best Writing from Big Sky Journal.

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