The Ordinary Truth
From the back cover of The Ordinary Truth:
When Nell Jorgensen buried her husband after a hunting accident in 1975, she buried a piece of herself, her relationship with her daughter, and more than one secret along with him. Now, thirty-six years later, her granddaughter, Cassie, intends to unearth those secrets and repair those relationships, but she’s unprepared for what she finds.
Set in the sparse and beautiful landscape of Nevada’s Spring Valley and Schell Creek Mountains, yet steeped in the realities of the colliding urban and rural worlds of the West, award-winning author Jana Richman brings us an emotional journey of love, loss, and family in her third book, The Ordinary Truth.
Salt Lake City Weekly Artys Reader’s Choice Awards:
Best Fiction Book
Jana Richman, The Ordinary Truth
In her 2008 debut novel, The Last Cowgirl, Jana Richman drew from her history as a daughter of the West for a complex portrait of people pulled between the city and the country, and between their relationships and their psychological baggage. She followed it up with another terrific story, The Ordinary Truth, this one following the interactions between a grandmother and granddaughter freighted by years of family estrangement. And once again, she struck a beautiful balance between developing rich, prickly characters and exploring the landscape and the backgrounds that shape them into who they are.
Praise for The Ordinary Truth
“[Richman’s] to-the-horizon sentences cast a spell, her cactus-prickly characters get under your skin, and her barbed-wire plot makes a mark. With tough women and sensitive men, desert-dry humor, hot-springs sensuality, heartbreaking secrets, escalating suspense, and a 360-degree perspective on the battle over water, Richman’s twenty-first-century western is riveting, wise, and compassionate.”
–Booklist (starred review)
“ . . . with a unique voice, Richman crystallizes how secrets and silences flow through the generations . . . with depth of characters, beauty of language, and a haunting understanding of the landscapes that define us.”
–Jane Kirkpatrick, bestselling author of Where Lilacs Still Bloom.
“The Ordinary Truth tells a page-turner of a story about love and loyalty, loss and regret—and, ultimately, the stunning absolution of the simple truth. Richman writes . . . with the sure hand of a formidable storyteller.”
–Stephen Trimble, author of Bargaining for Eden: The Fight for the Last Open Spaces in America
“This tale of estrangement encapsulates the discordant New West. The writing, refreshingly, subverts some clichés; Kate scoffs at herself for envisioning her late father as a weathered cowboy riding off into the sunset. Though the setting is modern, the subject is timeless: loyalty to family and to the land — according to Nell, the only two things that really matter in the world. And in Nell’s assessment of this ordinary truth: “A person ought never to have to choose between those two things.”
—High Country News