In this collection of essays, stories, and tall tales, Mac Griffith relays the news from the Colorado high country, news of local lives lived out over many years, sometimes with hilarity, sometimes... More > with painful loss. In the title story, he climbs a high peak with his sister as she continues to hike in the fresh shadow of grief. In other news, a fierce retired woman named Etta runs the trails and fires rocks at slob campers to help them learn better behavior. In these high country stories, there are devils in machines, a grouse family fighting to stay together, and hummingbirds that have lost interest in flowers. On his first mountain camping trip, the author pulls a gun to defend himself against his own eyelash. Looking back from 10,000 feet to his childhood in the Deep South, he ponders the mysteries of growing up, including dirty ears as the origin for a legendary career in alligator wrestling. Stories full of wonder at life lived in thin air. Griffith tunes his ear to the land’s own song.< Less
Lyric River's Ben Wallace is a skeptic, but he doesn’t mind renting his attic room to someone claiming to be God, especially since this God is troubled by his own grave doubts. Ben does not... More > even mind that God mooches beer from the refrigerator and is indifferent about paying the rent. Ben is less concerned with God’s aggravating ways than he is with figuring out how it might be okay to leave one woman he loves for another woman he loves. He is not at all concerned with continuing as single parent to his daughter—with this, he is a natural.
Ben, stubborn, smart-ass child of the South, separated from his wife, moves to a small Colorado ski town with Sarah, his nine-year-old daughter. Ben and Sarah find informal family ties with locals. Ben’s marriage to Karen, volatile, ambitious child of the city, is fraying, and the unraveling quickens when he meets Megan, serene child of the mountains, child of a crazy, murdered father. The conflict intensifies when Megan's brother violently opposes their relationship.< Less