Join Ellen as she reads from her debut novel, The River by Starlight, a sweeping century-old tale of passionate love, unimagineable loss, resilience, and redemption embodied in one woman’s tenacious quest for self-determination in the face of devastating misfortune and social injustice.
Set in the waning years of Montana’s homestead period, Annie and Adam Fielding’s dreams of prosperity and family shatter in the face of an unfathomable illness of mind and body that plagues Annie’s pregnancies and exacts a terrible price. In the face of societal stigma, ignorance, and their own grief, their happiness and way of life begins to unravel, and the only path ahead leads to an unthinkable turn of events.
Based on true events revealed through more than a decade of research, The River by Starlight explores a history rarely seen in fiction. Its themes of women’s mental health, gender inequity, climate disaster and economic boom-and-bust remain powerfully and painfully relevant today.
“There is nothing I didn’t love about this book. The story will grow tendrils around your heart, squeezing it until you can barely breathe. With its trenchant dialogue and unforgettable characters, this is both a love story and a heartrending study of the forced redefining of family.”
–Laurel Davis Huber, author of Langum Prize for American Historical Fiction winner The Velveteen Daughter
“Heart-wrenching yet hopeful, The River by Starlight is a compelling and beautifully written debut novel.”
–Ashley Sweeney, author of Nancy Pearl Award winner Eliza Waite
“Filled with vivid characters and descriptions, heartache, loss and the healing power of love . . . a tribute to so many women who were treated unjustly and who managed to find their way and survive. Bravo, Ellen Notbohm!”
–Kris Radish, best-selling author of A Dangerous Woman from Nowhere
“Ellen Notbohm elevates the facts of a century-ago marriage to the story of Annie and Adam Fielding, trapped in tragic circumstances over which they have no control. The story is told with deep understanding, which draws in the reader, and with respect for the human heart, which won’t abandon hope.”
–Tony Cashman, author and historian, The Alberta Order of Excellence
Annie Bloom’s welcomes Portland writer Ellen Notbohm, who will read from her debut novel, The River by Starlight.
Set in the waning years of Montana’s homestead period, Annie and Adam Fielding’s dreams of prosperity and family shatter in the face of an unfathomable illness of mind and body that plagues Annie’s pregnancies and exacts a terrible price. Amidst deepening economic adversity, natural disaster, and the onset of world war, their personal struggles collide with the societal mores of the day. Annie’s shattering periods of black depression and violent outbursts exact a terrible price. The life the Fieldings have forged begins to unravel, and the only path ahead leads to unthinkable loss.
Based on true events, this sweeping novel weaves a century-old story as powerfully relevant today as ever, timeless in its telling of love, heartbreak, healing, and redemption embodied in one woman’s tenacious quest for self-determination in the face of devastating misfortune and social injustice.