Ivan Doig (1939-2015) was a third-generation Montanan and the author of sixteen books, including the classic memoir This House of Sky and most recently Last Bus to Wisdom. He was a National Book Award finalist and received the Wallace Stegner Award, among many other honors. Doig lived in Seattle with his wife, Carol. Visit IvanDoig.com.
Mitch Rozier is an aging baby boomer "half a century old and working for a giveaway newspaper" in Seattle, where he spends his days wondering about the future of his job as an environmental columnist and his disappointing personal life. His children from a previous marriage are strangers, and his relationship with plainspoken caterer Lexa McCaskill, sister of Mariah (from Doig's 1991 Ride with Me, Mariah Montana), is on rocky ground. Summoned home by his ailing father, Mitch travels to small-town Montana, where he is soon joined by Lexa and Mariah. There, Doig returns to more familiar territory as he plots the resolution of a decades-old conflict between father and son against the backdrop of the Rocky Mountain wilderness. Doig clearly enjoys poking fun at Seattle's decadent cyberculture, but he is at his best when writing about Montana, contrasting the differences between those who want to exploit the land and those who want to protect it. Not Doig's best novel, but essential reading for fans of his "Two Medicine" trilogy.ÄCharlotte L. Glover, Ketchikan P.L., AK Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Bob Minzesheimer USA Today A rich, resonant read, crafted
out of Western talk and terrain. It deals with the history we're
given and the history we make for ourselves....Doig is a writer who
deserves wider recognition. Mountain Time is for readers who
admire novelists who treat the landscape with as much affection as
their characters (think Stegner or David Guterson).
Michael Frank Los Angeles Times There is much to admire in Mountain Time, especially in the relationship between its protagonist, Mitch Rozier, and his cantankerous dying father....In [the] conflicts between father and son, Doig has found a plausible marriage between theme and character, setting and sentiment.
Publishers Weekly If any writer can be said to wear the mantle of the late Wallace Stegner, Doig qualifies, as a steady and astute observer of life in our Western states. Infused with his knowledge and appreciation of the Western landscapes, his novels are a finger on the pulse of the people who try to reconcile their love of open spaces with the demands of modern life, particularly the form of "progress" that threatens the environment....This is an honest and resonant portrait of idealists facing middle age and learning to deal with past issues that shadow their lives.
Tim McNulty The Seattle Times Doig has fashioned a mythic landscape as memorable and real as Faulkner's....In Mountain Time [he] has delivered us another classic.
Ron Franscell San Francisco Chronicle Book Review A serious story from the reigning master of new Western literature...Mountain Time will not dissuade those who rank Doig among the best living American writers, and one might even begin making comparisons to some of the best dead ones, too. Faulkner comes most readily to mind....[Doig is] bigger than the Big Sky. He stands upon the shoulders of Wallace Stegner and A. B. Guthrie, taller than Edward Abbey and Tom McGuane, and sees much further. He looks homeward, and he sees a place in all our minds, not just in those who live in and write about the West.
Jonathan Yardley The Washington Post Book World [Doig's] abiding love for his home ground carries the day in Mountain Time, as it almost always does in his work....He understands his characters well, and manages to make them all the more interesting not in spite of their flaws but because of them....He lets the story tell itself, which is what stories are supposed to do.
Beth Duris BookPage Distinguished by wonderfully evocative descriptions of the Western landscape, Mountain Time is sure to strike a chord with readers who have struggled with the past and won the freedom to embrace their own lives.
Robert Allen Papinchak Chicago Tribune Invigorating...exhilarating...this is quintessential Doig.
If any writer can be said to wear the mantle of the late Wallace Stegner, Doig qualifies, as a steady and astute observer of life in our Western states. Infused with his knowledge and appreciation of the Western landscapes, his novels are a finger on the pulse of the people who try to reconcile their love of open spaces with the demands of modern life, particularly the form of "progress" that threatens the environment. In this ingratiating novel, Doig continues the story of the McCaskell family (seen previously in English Creek, Dancing at the Rascal Fair and Ride with Me, Mariah Montana), this time focusing on sisters Lexa and Mariah McCaskell. Lexa's marriage to a forest ranger and her days as cook in Alaska are behind her; now sturdy, capable Lexa runs a catering service in Seattle. She lives with rugged environmental journalist Mitch Rozier, another escapee from rough life in northern Montana. At 50, Mitch is facing a double crisis: the newspaper where his column appears is about to fold, and his foxy, rapacious father, Lyle, a notorious land despoiler, is dying of leukemia and has summoned him back to Twin Sulphur Springs. Lexa goes back to Montana, too, bringing her sexy sister, Mariah, just returned to the States after a year-long photographing expedition around the world. Lyle's illness and death unleash complex memories and future shocks. Tensions between Mitch and his father, between Lexa and Mariah, and between Mitch and Lexa come to a boiling point on Phantom Woman Mountain on the Continental Divide, where Lyle has ordered that his ashes be scattered. While the narrative eventually achieves cohesiveness, initially it is disconcertingly fragmentary, as Doig intercuts contemporary scenes with flashbacks. Among the novel's considerable strengths, however, are Doig's lyrical writing about scenery ("Up here the continent was tipsy with mountains") and local history. He excels in lively dialogue (sometimes a tad too cute), and in grasping the nuances of male-female relationships. But most importantly, this is an honest and resonant portrait of idealists facing middle age and learning to deal with past issues that shadow their lives. Agent, Liz Darhansoff. (Aug.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.