“Marvelous . . . This subtle and deceptively simple tale is an elegiac and beautiful tragicomedy about a single summer, two towns, and three Indian kids. . . . Beneath the coming-of-age story of two boys and their daily struggle lies the more complicated and ancient story of a haunted suffering land and its indigenous people. . . . Thomas King has quietly and gorgeously done it again.”Newsday
Truth and Bright Water
978-0-8021-3840-8 • $16.00 • Paperback • Oct. 2001
Thomas King’s novels Medicine River and Green Grass, Running Water have introduced readers across North America to the touching, delightful world of an extraordinarily fine storyteller. His new novel is a warm and magical story set in Truth and Bright Water, sister towns separated by a river that runs between Montana and an Alberta Indian reservation. Together they form an unusual and special community. There’s a diner with the same special every day, and characters like Lucy Rabbit, who believes Marilyn Monroe was Indian and will not give up on becoming a platinum blonde.
This summer for Tecumseh and Lum, two young Native men coming of age, it will be a summer of mysteries and returns. It opens with a distraught woman throwing things into the river out of a suitcasethen jumping in after. Tecumseh and Lum go to help, but she and her truck have disappeared. On the bluff overlooking the river, Tecumseh’s dog discovers a child’s skull. Other mysteries also puzzle Tecumsehif his mom will take his dad back; if his rolling-stone Aunt Cassie is home to stay this time, and why she’s brought a suitcase full of baby clothes; why no one protects Lum from his father’s rages.
Then Tecumseh gets a job helping an artistMonroe Swimmer, Bright Water’s most famous son, returned home and living in a vacant churchwith the project of a lifetime. As the touristsbuckskin-clad Germans, drunk Americans, and a ghostly little Cherokee girl from Georgiabegin to arrive for the annual Indian Days festival, the secrets of Truth and Bright Water come together in a climax of tragedy, reconciliation, and love. Plainspoken and poetic, comic and poignant, Truth and Bright Water is a vivid portrait of a community, and a wonderful and deeply resonant novel.