Montana (MP3 CD)
Foreign correspondent Lola Wicks is pissed off. Her editor, downsizing her from her Kabul posting, reassigns her to a stateside suburban beat formerly the province of interns. Meanwhile, arriving in Montana for some R&R at a friend's cabin, she is surprised to find her friend nowhere in sight. Anger turns to terror when Lola discovers her friend shot dead. She can't get out of Montana fast enough but finds that she can't leave, as she's being held as a potential witness, thwarting her plan to return to Afghanistan on her own and have her editors change their minds. Her best hope now lies in solving the case herself. But this sure-footed journalist who deftly negotiated Afghanistan's deadly terrain finds herself frighteningly off balance in this forgotten corner of her own country, plagued by tensions between the locals and citizens of the nearby Blackfeet Nation. Lola's lone-wolf style doesn't work in a place where the harsh landscape and extreme isolation compel people to rely upon each other in ways she finds unsettling. In her awkward attempts at connection, she forms a reluctant alliance with a local reporter, succumbs to the romantic attentions of a wealthy rancher, and fences warily with the state's first Indian candidate for governor, the subject of her friend's final stories. Ultimately she comes to truly care about the people she meets in Montana, only to miss the warning signals that her own life is in danger. While unraveling her friend's terrible fate, Lola joins many Americans in learning the hard lessons of a fraught economy--that circumstances change in a flash, that formerly overlooked places and people can hold deep value, and that human bonds matter more than fleeting career success.