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Ride with Me, Mariah Montana


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About the Author

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


Spurred by the 1989 centennial of Montana's statehood, moody widower Jick McCaskill, turning 65, criss-crosses the state in a Winnebago with his photographer daughter, strong-willed, feisty Mariah, and her ex-husband, Riley, a reporter. In this crowning volume of a trilogy, which includes English Creek and Dancing at the Rascal Fair , Doig again displays a masterly skill in depicting the American West which few writers match. Instead of patriotic hoopla, the canvas is dotted with failing ranches, oil pumps clanking away in farmed fields, Montanans tensely poised between an uncertain future and a frontier past. Jick, who narrates this road story with brash humor, faces two emotional crises: Mariah precipitously announces plans to remarry Riley; and Leona, Riley's mother, who once had an ill-fated fling with Jick's dead brother, joins the caravan. This entertaining ramble adroitly blends travelogue, family drama, history and newspaper lore. (Sept.)

To explore the meaning of Montana's century of statehood, 65-year-old Jick McCaskill, his photographer daughter Mariah, and her newspaper columnist ex-husband Riley Wright tour the Treasure State in Jick's Winnebago. While Riley writes on-the-scene dispatches and Mariah takes photos of the places they visit, Jick, the narrator, recounts the state's--and his family's--good and bad times. A lengthy picaresque with innumerable well-crafted vignettes, this leisurely novel could easily serve as a tour guide of Montana's historic places. As the miles go by, Riley and Mariah again fall in and out of love, and Jick, a widower, unexpectedly finds a new mate. The culminating volume in the McCaskill trilogy, which includes English Creek ( LJ 10/1/84) and Dancing at the Rascal Fair (Macmillan, 1987) , is highly recommended for its depiction of the past's impact on the present.-- James B. Hemesath, Adams State Coll. Llb., Alamosa, Col.

"An extravagant celebration filled with devotion, and with passion for its locale, its people, and their history."
-- The Washington Post
"A casually artful and triumphant end to Doig's trilogy."
-- Kirkus Reviews
"Doig again displays a masterly skill in depicting the American West which few writers match."
-- Publishers Weekly
"Spiced with Doig's inimitable dialogue and colorful characters, Ride with Me, Mariah Montana preserves a cherished bit of America's landscape and history for all of us."
-- USA Today

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