Set against the wild beauty of Montana as a woman attempts to heal from a devastating accident, this generational saga from the award-winning author of The Widow Nash is a heartfelt examination of how the deep bonds of family echo throughout our lives.
For Polly, the small town of Livingston, Montana, is a land charmed by raw, natural beauty and a network of family that extends back generations. But the summer of 2002 finds Polly at a crossroads: a recent head injury has scattered her perception of the present, bringing to the surface events from thirty years ago and half a country away. As Polly's many relatives arrive for a family reunion during the Fourth of July holiday, a beloved friend goes missing on the Yellowstone River, dredging up strange memories for a family well acquainted with tragedy. Search parties comb the river as carefully as Polly combs her mind, and over the course of one fateful week, Polly arrives at a deeper understanding of herself and her larger-than-life relatives.
Weaving together the past and the present, from the shores of Long Island Sound to the landscape of Montana, The Center of Everything
examines with profound insight the nature of the human condition: the memories and touchstones that make up a life, and the loves and losses we must endure along the way.
Winner of the 2017 Reading the West Award
A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice "What keeps you reading is not just the quality of the writing, which is just absolutely wonderful, but also to find out: Is [Dulcy] going to [remake herself]? Can this be successful? Or is she going to be found out?" ―Nancy Pearl, Morning Edition, NPR
Dulcy Remfrey has traveled the globe with her eccentric father, Walton, a wealthy entrepreneur obsessed with earthquakes and catastrophe, searching to cure his long battle with syphilis through any crackpot means necessary. Their deep connection is tested, however, when Walton returns from an African expedition without any of the proceeds from the sale of his gold mine. It seems he's lost his mind along with the great sum of money, his health declining rapidly. Her father's business partner (and her ex–fiancé) insists Dulcy come to Seattle to decipher her father's cryptic notebooks—a dozen in all, wrapped in brightly colored silk—which may hold clues to the missing funds. Yet when her father dies before they can locate the money, Dulcy falls under suspicion. Petrified of being forced to spend the rest of her life with her ex–love, Dulcy decides to disappear from the train bringing her father's body home.
Is it possible to disappear from your old life and create another? Dulcy travels the West reading stories about her presumed death and settles into a small Montana town where she is reborn as Mrs. Nash, a wealthy young widow with no burden of family. But her old life won't let go so easily, and soon her ex–fiancé is on her trail, threatening the new life she is so eager to create. The Widow Nash
is a riveting narrative, filled with a colorful cast of characters, rich historical details, and epic set pieces. Europe in summer. New York in fall. Africa in winter. The lively, unforgettable town of Livingston, Montana. And in Dulcy, Jamie Harrison has created an indelible heroine sure to capture the hearts of readers everywhere. "This gorgeously written historical novel follows Dulcy, a young woman in 1904 who attempts to flee her late father's business problems―and her violent ex–fiance's grasp―by traveling west and posing as a wealthy widow." ―Entertainment Weekly