Do we belong to the Earth or does the Earth belong to us? The question raised by Chief Seathl almost two centuries ago continues to be the defining quandary of the wet, wild rainforests along the shores of the Pacific Northwest. It seethes below the tides of the fictional town of Good River Harbor, a little village pressed against the mountains—homeland to bears, whales, and a few weather–worn families.
In Piano Tide, the debut novel by award–winning naturalist, philosopher, activist and author Kathleen Dean Moore, we are introduced to town father Axel Hagerman, who has made a killing in this remote Alaskan harbor by selling off the spruce, the cedar, the herring and halibut. But when he decides to export the water from a salmon stream, he runs head–long into young Nora Montgomery, just arrived on the ferry with her piano and her dog. Nora has burned her bridges in the lower 48, and she aims to disappear into this new homeland, with her piano as her anchor. But when Axel’s next business proposition, a bear pit, turns lethal, Nora has to act. The clash, when it comes, is a spectacular and transformative act of resistance.