TERRANE by Philip Newton
Standing at a crossroads between magical realism, mystery, poetry and love story, Terrane weaves a narrative where place—mountain, town and river, the phantoms that roam them and, especially, the stone kingdoms that lie beneath—are as much characters as the men and women who inhabit the plot of the story. Terrane links the fracturing of continental motion with the displacement of time and place, the desires and struggle of lovers and enemies, working out their fates on the surface of a world whose full story they can never grasp.
Allen Wrangell is a terminally-ill, geology-obsessed loner who makes his way to an isolated mountain town to reconnect with Liz, a long-lost love. Allen takes a room at a bed and breakfast run by the enigmatic Maria and soon finds himself embroiled in a conflict with her abusive, alcoholic boyfriend. The drama is complicated by his growing suspicion that Liz, Maria--even Allen himself—might not really exist. As Allen’s relationship with Maria deepens, he’s troubled by the knowledge that any new love is destined to be short-lived. But before darkness closes around him, Allen Wrangell has a journey to take and questions to ask. Whether or not he likes the answers, Allen himself might never know.
In exploring the tenuous relationships of lost and alienated people, Terrane ultimately seeks affirmation of our connection, the absolute necessity of human touch, kindness, memory. That these relationships are forged in the face of estrangement, violence, and death makes them all the more vital to the people establishing and experiencing them. In a world that is fracturing and falling in on itself, only love makes sense, and relationships are not so much a matter of desire, but of survival.
Genre: Literary Fiction
Publication: September 11, 2018