From the bestselling author of Montana 1948 comes the explosive story of an artist, his muse, and the staggering price they pay for their chance at immortality.
Sonja Skordahl, a Norwegian immigrant, came to America looking for a new life. Instead, she settled in Door County, Wisconsin, and married Henry House only to find herself defined by her roles as wife and mother. Destiny lands Sonja in the studio of Ned Weaver, an internationally acclaimed painter. There she becomes more than his model and more than a mere object of desire; she becomes the most inspiring muse Ned has ever known, much to the chagrin of the artist's wife. When both Ned and Henry insist on possessing Sonja, their jealousies threaten to erupt into violence as she struggles to appease both men without sacrificing her hard-won sense of self.
About the Author
Larry Watson grew up in Bismarck, North Dakota, and received his BA and MA from the University of North Dakota and his PhD in creative writing at the University of Utah. He has received grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Wisconsin Arts Board. He is the author of the novels "Let Him Go, Montana 1948, American Boy, In a Dark Time, White Crosses, Laura, Orchard, " and "Sundown, Yellow Moon; "the fiction collection "Justice;" and the chapbook of poetry "Leaving Dakota. "Watson s fiction has been published in many foreign editions, and has received multiple prizes and awards from, among others, the Mountain and Plains Booksellers Association, the Mountain and Plains Library Association, the New York Public Library, and the Wisconsin Library Association, and he has been awarded the Critics Choice Award and the High Plains Book Award. He has published short stories and poems in a range of journals. His essays and book reviews have appeared in the "Los Angeles Times, " the "Washington Post, " the "Chicago Sun-Times, "and the "Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel." Watson taught at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point for twenty-five years before joining the faculty at Marquette University in 2003 as a visiting professor. He and his wife Susan live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
“This book will leave you illuminated. . . . If there exists a literary equivalent to the artist’s play of light on a canvas, then Larry Watson has mastered it. . . . Every scene of Orchard is painted with deliberate, vivid strokes of radiance. . . . Watson’s sparse words and controlled prose turn a remote town and four lonely characters into a remarkable tale.”
“Clear-eyed, close-to-the-bone, inherently dramatic and endlessly implicative . . . Watson’s insights into his characters not only bring them to life, but also shed light on the nature of art, love and marriage.”
—Los Angeles Times Book Review
“An enthralling, thought-provoking read . . . This is a story that comes together at its own internal pace, and when whole understanding dawns, it is with clear power.”
—The Denver Post
“[A] powerful tale . . . captivating and haunting, and very hard to put down.”
—The Washington Post Book World